Hungary’s public debt rose to 81 percent of GDP at the end of the fourth quarter, according to a first reading of data the National Bank of Hungary (NBH) released on Wednesday.
The debt rose from 74.2 percent at the end of the third quarter and from 65.5 percent at the end of 2019.
In absolute terms, it was 38,368 billion forints at the end of 2020.
Hungary’s constitution stipulates that year-end debt-GDP ratio should decline to 50 percent. Government spending on pandemic measures and economic stimulus have swollen the debt.
Finance Minister Mihály Varga met banking sector leaders on Tuesday to discuss tools lenders can use to support Hungary’s economic recovery.
In a post on his Facebook page, Varga said he met Hungarian Banking Association chairman Radovan Jelasity, deputy chairman András Becsei and chief secretary Levente Kovács.
“We discussed what tools financial institutions can use to support the jump-start of the Hungarian economy,” Varga said.
He acknowledged banks’ cooperation involving a blanket moratorium on loan repayments during the coronavirus crisis, their 55 billion forint (EUR 153m) extraordinary contribution to Hungary’s pandemic war chest, and their active corporate lending.
“The coronavirus pandemic has proved that Hungarian financial institutions can be counted on in difficult times, too,” Varga said.