Last year the sovereign debt indicator decreased even further compared with years before, to 70.2 per cent to GDP, while the budget deficit at 2.3 per cent remained below both the relevant EU criterion and the set target, the European Union’s statistical office confirmed. Eurostat’s summary report also reveals that the Hungarian debt rate reduction is one of the most dynamic among Member States.

The government continues to remain committed to a predictable and responsible fiscal policy in which the reduction of the sovereign debt plays a key role. The latest official data confirms the effectiveness of this policy as, even compared with earlier data, the debt rate decreased significantly further, in 2017 to below 73 per cent and last year to 70.2 per cent. In the first half of 2019, this trend continued, and as a result, the 68.5 per cent target set for the end of this year can be realistically met. The government is also determined to achieve that by the end of its term the sovereign debt rate fall below 60 per cent.

Every year since 2010 the deficit of the budget has remained below the relevant convergence criterion of three per cent, and in consequence, in 2013 the excessive deficit procedure which was instituted against Hungary by the EU at the time of our accession in 2004 was terminated. Last year, the deficit remained below the planned rate once more, at 2.3 per cent to GDP. At the same time, this year’s budgetary processes indicate that the deficit target of 1.8 per cent appears to be attainable.

The statistical authorities of Member States send Eurostat the latest data regarding the two principal indicators of the state of the budget, the debt rate and the deficit rate, in the spring and in the autumn. The EU’s statistical office verifies these documents in detail, releases the final approved reports, and publishes various EU averages and rankings. It is an important positive development that Eurostat revoked its earlier methodological reservations regarding Hungary.

(Ministry of Finance)