20 Jul 2010

Hungary told by IMF to cut spending

12:07 pm on 20 July 2010

The government of Hungary has been told by the International Monetary Fund to cut spending or it won't get any more emergency funds.

The move led to a fall in Hungary's currency, the forint, and will make it harder for the country to tap financial markets for any more cash.

The BBC reports the currency fell by 9 forints, more than 3%, against the euro, to 291.38 forints.

Shares on the Budapest Stock Exchange also fell by almost 3%.

On Sunday, the IMF said Hungary had made progress towards sustained recovery, but needed to do more.

Specifically, the IMF said additional measures were needed for Hungary to achieve its deficit target of 3.8% of GDP this year and 3% of GDP in 2011.

These should include restructuring state-owned companies to make them less costly.

This has raised doubts about existing IMF loan arrangements with Hungary.

In October 2008, Hungary was granted a rescue package of $US25 billion by the IMF, the EU and the World Bank, to help it cope with the global financial crisis.