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Mihály Varga said Hungary’s convergence program for the 2018-2022 period sent to the European Commission includes a growth projection similar to its economic expansion assumption contained in Hungary’s last report
In the third quarter, Hungary’s GDP grew by 3.9 percent (4.1, if adjusted for seasonal and calendar effects), beating expectations and the EU average, which came in at 2.5 percent. Meanwhile, the country’s finances are finding stable footing, with the annual budget deficit remaining well below three percent and the debt-to-GDP ratio on the decline.
“Hungary is continuously doing better, economic growth is higher than the European Union average and we can expect significant growth over the remainder of the year as well,” said the minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office
Hungary’s economy hit the ground running this year. The major indicators are trending positive and international investors have taken note. Signs of a strong recovery, however, do not mean we can rest. Instead, said Prime Minister Orbán, it means that it’s time to dream big.
Prime Minister Orbán’s economic program sets out a number of ambitious goals. It demands fiscal discipline to keep the budget deficit not only under the three-percent Maastricht threshold but low enough to reduce nominal state debt. It calls for GDP growth to increase from the current level between 2 and 3 percent to a more robust output above 3 percent and sets a longer term goal of five percent. And it aims to create jobs to bring the labor market to full employment.
In recognition of Hungary’s successful efforts to revive its economy, Fitch Ratings upgraded the country to investment grade recently. Although the upgrade came earlier than statistics might suggest, it was no surprise as markets had already priced Hungary’s widely anticipated return to investment grade at multiple credit rating agencies this year. Fitch’s upgrade signals important recognition that Hungary’s reforms are working.
The Hungarian Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga presented Hungary’s 2017 budget plan on Tuesday. The core message signals predictability and stability to investors, while maintaining the government’s popular “one step ahead” policy, especially for families. The budget plans for 3.1 percent GDP growth, a falling debt-to-GDP ratio and a deficit of 2.4 percent.
Yes, the loan is paid off. Commenting last week on the good news, Prime Minister Orbán said that “Every Hungarian family has a good reason to open a good bottle of red wine tonight and drink to the health of the country because yesterday we succeeded in settling the old debt that the previous government took on in 2008."