The government’s liquid reserves, the amount of immediately available funds available on its account with the Hungarian National Bank (MNB), has fallen to a level not seen since August 2020.
According to business site Portfolio, the amount of government deposits with the MNB at the end of December was only 1.71 trillion Ft. (US $5.41 billion) following an end-of-year spending spree, although it was still 4.46 trillion Ft. ($14.1 billion) at the end of September 2021.
However, this shouldn’t be surprising, considering that preliminary budget figures published at the beginning of last week already showed that the state budget closed the year with a 5.10 trillion Ft.($16.1 billion) loss. In December 2021 alone, the deficit was 1.17 trillion Ft. ($3.70 billion).
It is not uncommon for the Hungarian government to spend beyond its means in December, states Portfolio. But even by this standard, the rate at which government depleted its funds at the end of the year is still staggering, with the amount of liquid reserves falling more in the last month of the year than any time in the past 20 years, with the exception of 2015.