The deficit level estimate for 2024 increased close to the level of EUR 7.6 billion due to higher healthcare expenditure (Budgetary Traffic Light April 2024)

  • 29. 4. 2024

Secretariat of the Council for Budget Responsibility (SoCBR) estimates the 2024 General Government Budget (GGB) deficit at 5.8 % of GDP

  • SoCBR has increased the estimated level of GGB deficit in 2024. The negative difference compared to the March forecast amounts to EUR 104 million. Month-to-month increase of the GG deficit level is due to higher estimated healthcare expenses.
  • According to the SoCBR, the deficit can reach the level of 5.8 % of GDP (EUR 7 587 million), based on current information and under the assumption that the government does not take additional measures.
  • Positive deviation from the approved budget amounts to 0.2 % of GDP, which means that the risk of the public deficit level rising above the government objective is low. However, contrary to budgeted year-on-year decrease in the deficit level, SoCBR estimates an increase in the GG deficit level relative to year 2023 by 0.9 p.p. of GDP, the increase amounts to EUR 1.6 billion.
  • Compared to the government’s estimate published in the Stability Programme for years 2024 to 2027, the level of the SoCBR deficit forecast is lower by 0.1 % of GDP.
  • We expect the most significant negative impact on the GG balance in government measures to compensate high energy prices, since a reserve in the budget does not suffice to finance overall expected costs of compensation schemes. The budget relied on financing from EU funds, which entered into the deficit in 2023.
  • On the other hand, the financial performance of other GG entities represents the most significant positive impact on the GG balance compared to the budget. Based on developments observed in previous years, SoCBR does not expect an increase of expenditures to the budgeted levels.