Hungary’s cash flow-based budget, excluding local councils, ran a 1,973.9 billion forint (EUR 6.38bn) deficit at the end of December, the economy ministry said in a preliminary release on Monday.
The deficit reached 169.2 percent of the 1,166.4 billion forint full-year target.
The central budget deficit reached 1,904.2 billion forints at year-end and the social security funds were 142.2 billion forints in the red. Separate state funds finished the year with a 72.5 billion forint surplus.
In the month of December alone, the budget ran a 334.9 billion forint deficit.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, the economy ministry’s state secretary for the general government said Hungary’s deficit, calculated according to the European Union’s accrual-based accounting standards, may have been around 2 percent of GDP last year, under the 2.4 percent target.
Péter Benő Banai said state debt as a percentage of GDP fell to 72.4 percent at the end of last year from 73.9 percent at the end of 2016.
If the European Union requires Hungary to include Magyar Eximbank within the general government, the ratio would still decline during the period, to 74.5 percent from 76 percent, he added.
Hungary’s Constitution requires year-end state debt relative to GDP to fall every year until it reaches 50 percent.