Hungary’s budget ran a 3,870 billion forint (EUR 10.7bn) deficit last year, equivalent to 8.1% of GDP, data released by the Central Statistical Office (KSH) show.
The deficit swelled because of the economic impact of the pandemic as well as government stimulus and spending on Covid-19 defence. KSH noted that Hungary’s public debt as a percentage of GDP reached 80.4% at the end of 2020, citing data compiled by the National Bank of Hungary (NBH). In absolute terms, public debt stood at 38,408 billion forints. Budget revenue rose by 0.2% to 20,775 billion forints for the year. Expenditures were up 13.4% at 24,644 billion. The budget deficit came to 2,276 billion forints in the fourth quarter, equivalent to 18.1% of GDP.
Commenting on the data, the finance ministry said Hungary’s public debt was lower than the European Union average of over 90% of GDP. Meanwhile, the 8.1% budget deficit is expected to be around the EU average, the ministry said in a statement. Last year’s budget provided ample resources for the government’s pandemic response and economic protection measures, including the purchase of protective equipment and the financing of infrastructure developments, it added.