Hungary’s budget deficit widens to 2.892 trillion forints by end-June

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BUDAPEST – Hungary posted a 2.892 trillion forints ($7.21 billion) budget deficit in January-June, the Finance Ministry said on Friday, adding that Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government was committed to a 4.9% of GDP deficit target this year.

The ministry did not provide a deficit figure for June, but based on earlier data for January-May, the monthly deficit came in at 155 billion forints based on Reuters calculations.

A surge in spending ahead of an April 3 parliamentary election, including a tax rebate for families, pension hikes and tax cuts have contributed to the rise in the deficit in the first months of the year.

The ministry said that tax revenues rose 13.5% in the first six months in annual terms.

Orban’s government has announced new windfall taxes worth 800 billion forints on “extra profits” earned by banks, energy companies and other firms to plug the budget deficit.

($1 = 400.9400 forints)

(Reporting by Krisztina Than)