Hungary’s public debt fell to 78.2 percent of GDP at the end of the fourth quarter, a first reading of data released by the National Bank of Hungary (NBH) on Friday shows.
The ratio dropped from 80.3 percent at the end of Q3 and 80.0 percent at the end of 2020. The finance ministry had forecast the debt ratio would reach 79.9 percent at year-end.
Hungary’s constitution stipulates that year-end public debt relative to GDP must decline until the ratio reaches 50 percent. Public debt ratios were in compliance with the rule until pandemic expenditures lifted the ratio by close to 15 percentage points in 2020.
In absolute terms, Hungary’s gross public debt reached 41,303 billion forints (EUR 116.0bn) at the end of 2021, climbing from 37,462 billion at the end of 2020.
The NBH data show the general government’s net financing requirement — a good approximation for the general government deficit — reached 1,936 billion forints in Q4, equivalent to 12.3 percent of quarterly GDP. For the full year, the net financing requirement was 3,980 billion forints, equivalent to 7.3 percent of GDP.