Hungary’s cash flow-based budget, excluding local councils, ran a 1,081.4 billion forint (EUR 3.4bn) deficit at the end of April, the economy ministry said in a preliminary release. Pre-financing for EU projects drove the rise, the ministry said.
The deficit reached 79.5% of the 1,360.7 billion forint full-year target. The central budget was 1,119.5 billion forints in the red and separate state funds had a 7 billion deficit. The social insurance funds had a surplus of 45.1 billion forints. Alone in the month of April, budget deficit came to 209.4 billion forints.
The ministry noted that prefinancing for EU-funded project reached 857.2 billion forints by the end of April, while transfers from Brussels came to just 63.9 billion. Expenditures were also lifted by spending on central budget-funded projects, such as the Modern Cities Programme, the Healthy Budapest Programme, priority road investments and the upgrade of Erzsébet summer camps for children, as well as 10,000 forint in Erzsébet food vouchers awarded to pensioners and a 12,000 forint utilities discount granted to households in March, the ministry added.
It noted that central budget revenue from VAT and personal income tax was up 136.4 billion and 82.3 billion, respectively, in January-April from the same period a year earlier, while payroll tax revenue climbed by 91 billion. The government is standing by its full-year deficit target of 2.4% of GDP and assumes a GDP growth over 4%, the ministry said.