This is how German public TV sows seeds of hatred against PM Orbán and Hungary
German public TV ZDF’s Friday night program Heute Show calls PM Orbán an “idiot” and proposes to set up an EU “without the stupid Hungarians and Poles.”Read more
With a hefty 24 percent growth in foreign direct investment (FDI) from 2018 to 2019, Hungary stood out as a country to watch before the COVID-19 crisis hit. Now, more than seven months after the European outbreak of the pandemic, Hungary’s economic figures and investment potential are once again back on track. Here’s a summary of recent government measures, as well as foreign and domestic investments in Hungary.
The finance minister said the top priority of economic policy during the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic is to make sure the Hungarian economy stays afloat and that jobs and enterprises are protected and supported.
Among a series of other steps to protect the economy and help Hungarian families get by during the epidemic, the Hungarian government instructed the tax authority to exercise leniency concerning tax-discount applications made as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Thanks to these measures, Hungarian families have, according to a state secretary from the Ministry of Finance, saved Hungarians more than HUF 62 billion so far.
The Hungarian government has been doing everything it can to help the country’s economy return to growth. And we’re doing it as we always have: by focusing on jobs. In all the international coverage about Hungary and the Orbán Government’s extraordinary measures to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, this was the great unreported story.
A strict schedule and a gradual pace. This is how Prime Minister Viktor Orbán described the upcoming period on his regular morning interview on Kossuth Radio. Aside from the domestic situation, he also spoke about the current international turmoil.
In a brief video statement on public television, Prime Minister Orbán announced the launch of five new programs focused on protecting Hungary’s economy. “We will create as many jobs as the epidemic destroys,” he said.
Prime Minister Orbán announced this week a five-step economic relief package to curb the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s a look at how Hungary’s response compares to other examples we’re seeing internationally.
Prime Minister Orbán revealed five new measures aimed at protecting the economy from the negative effects of the coronavirus, addressing the nation in a video posted on his Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon.
PM Orbán said that rather than introducing blanket macroeconomic measures, specific sectors such as tourism would need targeted help, and the government is prepared to create the appropriate financial conditions.
The foreign minister said the government’s investment decisions this year will all come down to the levels of technology, the value-added and the levels of research and development involved with the given prospective projects.
“The Hungarian economy has seen record investments this year thanks to the country’s consistently high-performing workforce, Europe’s lowest tax rates and a new support scheme,” said the foreign minister.
Migration is not a stand-alone issue and cannot be separated from its economic consequences. Migration creates winners and losers, since refugees cost a lot and can take out more than they bring in, especially if countries are having to take in low-skill workers.
The US is the biggest, non-European investor in Hungary, as top American businesses in IT, agriculture, military, energy, and manufacturing continue to benefit from the country’s low taxes and highly skilled workforce. Expectations indicate that the solid partnership between the two countries will see continued growth.
Exports rose by 2.6 percent year-on-year to 8.141 billion euros. Imports were up 1.3 percent at 8.104 billion euros. Trade with other European Union member states accounted for about 80 percent of exports and 73 percent of imports.
Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, told a Hungarian-Brazilian business forum in São Paulo that the two governments approach the “great dilemmas of world politics” similarly, and so no open questions weigh on bilateral ties.
Inspiring Hungary, an exclusive conference organized this week by the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency, showcased the achievements of the Hungarian economic model – increased foreign investment, more jobs, higher wages – and provided a networking platform for actors engaged in the country’s key economic sectors. Here are some of the takeaways.
Japanese battery manufacturer GS Yuasa has built a battery assembly plant in the Miskolc industrial park with an investment of HUF 9 billion (EUR 26.8 million), to which the Hungarian government contributed a HUF 465.3 million non-refundable grant.
Hungary offers incentives for investments that will “help Hungarian businesses and the Hungarian people” by attracting technology-oriented capital to the country, said Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó in an interview on Kossuth Radio.
The FM said Hungary has gone from being a production-oriented economy to a technology-oriented one, adding that by bringing the unemployment rate down to 3.3 percent, the country has “practically achieved full employment”.
In the midst of a global economic slowdown, Finance Minister Mihály Varga has called for maintaining fiscal discipline in the Hungarian economy and keeping up the country’s recent high investment rate.
State Secretary András Tallai said statistics showed that the government’s economic policy was working. He added that if a country’s budget revenues are up after the government cuts taxes “then things are going in the right direction.”
While the European Commission continues to revise upward its forecast of Hungary’s economic performance, Hungary’s investment numbers are also climbing. We have managed to secure some 45 billion HUF worth of investments from Bavarian firms for the next fiscal term.
Following talks with David B. Cornstein, the US Ambassador to Hungary, Finance Minister Mihály Varga said there are a number of schemes available to Hungarian firms that can help them break into the US market.
Moody’s expects Hungarian banks’ non-performing loans to fall to around 5.5 percent of total loans by the end of 2019, from 6.2 percent in 2018 and around 15 percent in 2016. Household spending and both private and EU-backed investment are driving the economy.
“The rational political decisions that we have made in Central Europe with relation to the economy and security have all contributed to enabling Central Europe to be among the winners of the new world order today, and in fact the region represents the engine of European growth and competitiveness and will continue to do so in future,” the Foreign Minister said.
Christopher Caldwell points out that the speech PM Orbán made before an annual picnic for his party’s intellectual leaders in the late summer of 2015 is probably the most important by a Western statesman this century
“Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s working visit to Washington on May 13th, during which he will be received by U.S. President Donald Trump, will be extremely significant,” Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said at a recent press conference in Brussels.
Péter Szijjárto, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Hungary’s export volume last year was a testament to the hard work of the Hungarian people. He attributed the country’s import volume to last year’s record-breaking investments
The National Bank of Hungary has presented its new competitiveness program, a 330-point plan that adapts to Hungarian circumstances best practices from around the world to improve the country’s potential to be a contender and close the gap on Hungary’s level development compared to its western neighbors.
Minister Varga noted that the economy had expanded by 4.8 percent last year, three times the European average. “Now nobody can deny that the Hungarian economy is performing ever better and can continue to expand in the coming years,” he said
The finance minister has said that although Hungarian economic growth is expected to remain strong, the cabinet will devise a protection program for the economy to offset potential negative effects from the global market
“When it comes to important issues, and we listen and pay attention to the people, we get their answers,” PM Orbán said in this morning’s interview on Kossuth Rádió. Besides the results of the latest national consultation, the prime minister touched upon the upcoming European Parliament’s debate on rule of law in Hungary and George Soros’s efforts to expand his influence in the European Commission.
“It has become clear to the Hungarians: it is in the interests of the Central European for a pragmatic cooperation to come about between East and West that is based on common sense and mutual respect,” the foreign minister said
The upcoming European Parliamentary elections will be decisive, said Prime Minister Orbán at the government’s first press conference of the year in an opening statement before an extended and free-wheeling Q&A session with domestic and international press. As Hungary remains the only EU state that has asked its citizens directly about migration, these EP elections present an opportunity for the people of Europe to decide about the continent’s future.
“This year, pensions will be increasing by 2.7 percent, the increased pensions will be arriving in bank accounts on 11 January and the post office will begin deliveries on 16 January; pensions will be increasing by an annual 42,000 forints in the case of an average pension,” Bence Rétvári said
Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, who is accompanying Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on the visit to Zagreb, said that trade between the two countries exceeded 2 billion euros last year
Marcin Piasecki highlighted that Hungary was the first Central European country to experiment with its own independent economic policy and he believes that the model of the Hungarian workfare society is the way forward
Labeled the black sheep of Europe a few years ago, with an economy that required IMF emergency bailout, Hungary’s economic success story continues to yield record-breaking numbers. Here’s a brief rundown of some of the latest
The law would make investments from outside the European Union and the European Economic Area in the areas of national security, public security and those affecting economic and public health interests dependent on clearance from the interior minister
The Hungarian economy is export-orientated, and its export success determines the success of the whole national economy. Last year, the country exceeded 100 billion euros in annual exports for the first time in its history
An online survey by profession.hu found that about 44 percent of workers are not employed in the field where they have their highest qualification and a further 44 percent are actively thinking about changing jobs
Standard and Poor’s is not the only credit rating agency to have already posted positive projections for Hungary’s economy. All three major rating agencies currently have Hungary’s sovereign rating at investment grade
According to PM Orbán, the draft budget for 2019 is “massive and earthquake-resistant” and “in line with the goals of the Hungarian nation.” However, the draft of the 2021-2027 EU budget seeks to reward economic policies that failed to observe financial discipline.
Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the Eastern Opening policy is not only facilitating the increased foreign market presence of Hungarian products and services but also the Hungarian investments of well-capitalised Asian companies
During an official visit to Shanghai, Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, revealed that a 45 billion HUF (141 million EUR) power plant project will be built in Hungary, and air passenger links between the two countries could expand
Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said an agreement has successfully been reached on the quantity and price of next year’s Gazprom natural gas shipments to Hungary, in addition to which negotiations have also begun on gas shipments for 2020
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
Tourists coming from more remote parts of the world tend to go on tours involving several countries, and they are more inclined to visit the Central European region as a whole rather than individual countries
Hungary is the telco firm’s main base in central and eastern Europe. Telenor’s central and eastern European operations contributed to eight percent of the company's revenues and nine percent of core operating earnings in 2017
The robust economic growth we’re now seeing, based on an economic policy that includes tax cuts and wage increases, has produced a significant increase in the Hungarian people’s standard of living, said Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga.
KSH said the output of the building segment benefited from the construction of homes, schools and cultural buildings, as well as industrial facilities. In civil engineering, construction of highways and railways supported the rise
“In addition to the work of the Hungarian people, both the good performance of the Hungarian economy and the tax cuts are enabling these wage increases, and their effects are being reinforced by our family support schemes,” Csaba Dömötör said
“This is the first opportunity in the past few decades that Hungary can buy large volumes of gas from a non-Russian source,” Hungary's foreign minister said. He hailed the cooperation agreement as “historic progress towards Hungary’s energy security”
The latest numbers are out. Unemployment has reached a record low of 3.8 percent. According to 2017 fourth quarter data released last week by the Central Statistical Office, unemployment has been on the decline for 66 consecutive months.
The aim of the current Hungarian government is to increase domestic consumption by providing people with cheap and affordable food, and to bring more Hungarian food from a high quality, healthy environment to the family table
Eurostat figures show that home prices grew 3 percent compared to the previous quarter and 10.2 percent compared to Q3 of 2016. Rent is also going up in Budapest and other towns and cities across Hungary
Ágnes Hornung, minister of state for Financial Affairs at the Ministry for National Economy, said that based on early figures GDP growth in 2017 was close to 4.1 percent, which will accelerate to 4.3 percent in 2018
Hungary’s economic turnaround is gaining steam. Official data from the fourth quarter shows GDP growth will reach 4.1 percent in 2017, and the unemployment rate has fallen to 3.8 percent, Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga said recently.
Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the group will increase production capacity with an investment of 5.2 billion HUF (16.8 million EUR), towards which the Hungarian government will provide one billion HUF in non-returnable funding
Overall, the debt manager sold 75 billion HUF worth of bonds today instead of the planned 50 billion HUF at high demand and lower yields. Reports suggest that additional allotments can be expected at the non-competitive tenders this afternoon
Official data from the fourth quarter shows a GDP growth rate of 4.1 percent in 2017. This figure is well above the EU average, and that signals that Hungary’s economic convergence has continued, Hungary's economy minister said
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.
A new penthouse is being built in the heart of Budapest that will cost 9,500 euros (3 million HUF) per square meter. Districts 5, 6, 1, 2 and 12 are the most expensive places to live where prices reach way above the average 600,000 HUF per square meter
The foreign minister said the government seeks to improve export possibilities for Hungarian companies worldwide and to entice foreign companies to invest in Hungary in an ever more competitive international environment
Last week, Budapest played host to the 7th China-CEEC Summit, gathering Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and the prime ministers, heads of state and senior figures from 11 EU member states and five non-EU countries to advance cooperation between China and Central and Eastern Europe.
The funds are designed to expand micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, job creation, the development of industrial parks, brownfield industrial projects as well as efforts aiming to make Hungary even more attractive as a tourist destination
“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
Lately, Central Europe has become the driving force behind the European Union’s economic development. In the third quarter of this year, the EU’s economy expanded by 2.5 percent while Hungary’s GDP grew by 3.6 percent, and the V4 as a whole have been out-performing much of the rest of the EU.
The International Monetary Fund has forecast Hungary’s GDP growth by 2.8% in 2019, the construction sector output rose by 23.8% in September year-on-year and the industrial sector output grew by 5.4 percent
Mihály Varga, minister for National Economy, said rating agencies have now joined market players, the European Commission and other international organizations in confirming that the Hungarian economy is on the right track
“The common standpoint professed by Bulgaria and Hungary on issues relating to the fate of Europe is creating an opportunity for economic cooperation to be unhindered and receive a never before seen level of momentum," Hungary's foreign minister said
Minister Szijjártó highlighted that this was the eighth investment in Hungary from major US corporations this year via the investment promotion program, with investments totalling 30 million USD and creating some 1,100 new workplaces
The Kall Ingredients Limited’s isosugar refinery is the largest food industry investment of its kind since the fall of communism and will increase the country’s GDP by 185 billion HUF (600 million EUR)
With record-low unemployment, steadily increasing wages and other rock-solid indicators, the Hungarian economy is healthier than it’s been in years. The economic performance of Central Europe has become the driving force for growth in the EU, but that’s not the only reason why Hungarians can now be proud of their achievements over the course of the last seven years.
“The economic growth of the four Visegrád Group (V4) countries is outstanding," the prime minister said. “If we do not count the performance capabilities of our four countries, there is practically no economic growth within the European Union. Central Europe is Europe’s safest and most rapidly developing region"
The Hungarian government’s goals is to radically increase the weight of small and medium-sized enterprises in exports. The economy is heavily dependent on foreign trade, with a current export-to-GDP ratio of over 90 percent
PM Orbán revealed that guest nights were up by 50 percent last year compared with 2010, and revenues increased by over 115 percent. He also noted that the sector employs more than 360,000 people and accounts for 10 percent of the country’s GDP
“In Hungary, everything is in place to ensure that the upcoming years pass in the spirit of economic success. We would like to open a new era, an era of even higher economic growth in the history of the Hungarian economy," the prime minister said
Hungary’s economy has been gaining strength since 2010. Unemployment is currently the 4th lowest within the EU, the rate of GDP growth is amongst the highest, and the volume of investment increased by 25 percent during the first six months of this year
The jobless rate of 4.2 percent “after a steady decline in the unemployment rate for 61 months, is due to the substantial growth of the economy and the government’s successful employment policy," according to the ministry for National Economy
Hungary's foreign minister said that the investment was a joint step towards moving the Hungarian economy and Hungarian industry forwards into a new dimension, a digital era based on research and development and innovation
Hungary’s economic growth -- 2 percent in 2016 and forecast to grow to 4.3 percent in 2017 – translates into an anticipated 1 trillion additional HUF (3.3 billion EUR) for the 2018 budget. Public debt is expected to drop by some 2 percent, and the deficit is expected to be 2.4 percent.
“If investment growth is sustained, even if not at such a high pace, the investment rate will also grow, which in turn boosts job creation and helps secure the targeted economic growth rate of 4 percent in 2017 and 2018," Hungary's economy minister said
Hungary's foreign minister said Audi will spend the equivalent of 10 billion HUF on training 1,000 new workers who will be assigned to the production of electric powertrains. They will also invest the equivalent of 100 billion HUF in a new chassis production hall
Mihaly Varga, minister for National Economy, said that the first-quarter figure was “exceptionally good”. He added that the government expected the economy to expand by above 4 percent this year. No analyst or bank had projected such a strong rate of growth
NBH discussed OneCoin, which it said “shows some signs of a pyramid scheme”, with Interior Ministry bodies, the Budapest Police Headquarters, Budapest’s Chief Prosecutor, Hungary’s Chief Prosecutor, the National Tax and Customs Authority, the National Investigation Office and the National Police Headquarters
Back in 2015, the government decided to put the following year’s budget up to vote in the spring session of the Parliament, an important decision to increase predictability and improve planning. This year is no different. Though 2018 will be an election year, the government has held to a tight fiscal policy in the new budget. Continued stability and growth make possible a boost in competitiveness and tax cuts for families.
Hungary's 2018 budget would contain a two percentage point cut in the payroll tax, a one percentage point reduction in the tax on small businesses, a decrease in the VAT rate on internet service and fish, expanded tax preferences for families with children, higher public sector wages and 400 billion for roads and developments in big cities
In a statement, the monetary council repeated its earlier stand on keeping the base rate on hold “for an extended period”, while staying prepared to ease monetary conditions with unconventional instruments
Vehicle manufacturing is one of the flagship sectors of the Hungarian economy. Hungary has a long tradition in railway vehicle production and the government has adopted an action plan for developing the production of railway vehicles
The prime minister pointed out that Fidesz supports nuclear energy and renewable energy sources equally. However, the Hungarian people cannot pay the additional costs of renewable energy sources, and it now appears that nuclear energy will be the cheapest solution
1,710 American companies are employing some 100,000 people in Hungary, and Dana Hungary Limited’s new 13,000 square meter factory in Győr, which is being built with an investment of 46 million euros, would serve to further reinforce Hungarian-American economic cooperation
“Hungary would increasingly like to become an innovation center, and for this reason beginning next year all enterprises involved in research and development will be able deduct twice as much money from their taxable base as they spend on innovation," Hungary's foreign minister said
The prime minister said he expected that in a matter of years, the V4 would be referred to as “Europe’s strongest engine of growth”. PM Orbán praised the V4 cooperation saying that he believes the four countries are capable of renewing European democracy and the European Union as a whole
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán held talks with Salgótarján Mayor Zsolt Fekete on a comprehensive 90 billion HUF plan to develop the northern Hungarian city into a regional economic, cultural and sports center
The number of doctors applying to leave Hungary to work abroad dropped by 19 percent between 2015 and 2016 and by 50 percent to the present compared with 2010-2011. The same measure for nurses showed a 15 percent annual drop last year
RUAG is one of the world’s one hundred most important defense industry companies, and plans to manufacture fuselage elements for its Airbus 320 and Bombardier aircraft at its plant in Eger. The investment will create 180 new jobs. The government is contributing 382 million HUF in non-returnable funding towards the project
For breaking the rules of political correctness and using the word “ethnic” without a trigger warning, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is under heavy attack from the liberal media. The attacks, however, quote him completely out of context and deliberately misinterpret the meaning.
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.
As a result of the hard work of Hungarian people, Hungary once again stands before an “economic breakthrough,” said Prime Minister Viktor Orbán addressing the Parliament earlier this week at the opening of the spring session.
London-based analysts BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research and the London-based research unit of Bank of America-Merrill Lynch said they had revised their 2017 GDP forecast to an above-consensus 3.5 percent from 2.6 percent
"We expect the European Union to stop hindering the Paks expansion and to immediately issue the final authorization for the expansion of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant," Hungary's foreign minister has said
The news comes after three of the most influential credit rating agencies in the world upgraded Hungary's rating in 2016. Fitch was the first to upgrade Hungary to investment grade in May, followed by S&P in September then Moody's in November
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán held a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Budapest on Thursday. President Putin said that he was in agreement with PM Orbán about the need to strengthen cooperation in the fight against international terrorism
Minister Szijjártó said that the European sanctions against Russia have “failed both from political and economic aspects”. Those sanctions impact not only Russia but Europe, too, and “it would be best to remove them”
We have seen a fundamental shift in global politics in recent months. Positions and policies are moving in a different direction, changing in response to public outcry and voter dissatisfaction. The old guard are being taken to task.
The prime minister said similar attempts to increase wages have been made several times in the past 26 years, but no comprehensive agreement had ever been reached. The Hungarian government has now succeeded in achieving that
The central bank said problems in the corporate loan portfolio of banks was still caused by project loans, for which the default rate was 34 percent at the end of June, versus a 10 percent default rate for other corporate loans
Hungary’s fiscal responsibility brings about credit rating upgrade and record-breaking surplus in the budget. These factors, along with significant economic growth and falling unemployment, are fueling a broad economic and social recovery.
Hungarian state debt will continue to decline this year and the budget deficit will be below the 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) earlier expected. Economic growth is expected to reach 2.5-3 percent in 2016
"It is clear that there are serious structural forces at play, which contribute to inflation being this low, such as globalization and changing demographic trends," the managing director of the National Bank of Hungary has said
In Thursday’s print edition of the Financial Times, following Standard and Poor’s decision to restore Hungary’s credit rating to investment grade, a commentator praises Prime Minister Orbán’s “economic miracle.” Once a staunch critic of Hungary’s “unorthodox” measures to restore its technically bankrupt economy, the British daily’s admiration is the first sign that S&P’s move closes an era of doubts over whether Hungarian reforms are working.
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.
While Hungary’s national football team continues to surprise at the UEFA European Championship, Hungary surprises in another European competition. For the second year in a row, the country accepted next year’s budget during the spring parliamentary session to build on Hungary’s favorable economic prospects in today’s Europe. Next year’s budget is Hungary’s secret formula to advance on its debt-slashing, GDP growth path.
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.
Research and innovation are key factors in many countries’ strategy to boost economic growth, add value to their economies and attract more foreign direct investment (FDI). Hungary has long recognized the importance of its research and development (R&D) sector and, as announced by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in his speech at the Hungarian Academy of Science, is planning to invest some 1.2 billion HUF (3.8 billion EUR) for R&D until 2020.
A recent installment of the Global Investment Guide, a series published by Forbes, writes on the recovery of the Hungarian economy, noting that Hungary has reported even better than expected results in stimulating economic growth, reducing unemployment and cutting the GDP-to-debt ratio for the first quarter of 2016. Thanks to savvy reforms that work, Hungary’s bonds, equity markets and currency have recovered and are healthy again.
“Hungary has an interest in the alleviation of the Russian embargo and in its partial lifting with regard to agricultural products,” said Gyula Budai, ministerial commissioner for economic measures relating to the Russian embargo, speaking at a press conference in the southern town of Szentes.
Real wages rose significantly, climbing 6.9 percent in January-February 2016, according to the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH). Minister of State for Labor Market and Vocation Education Péter Cseresnyés said that the latest numbers continue an upward trend that has been growing over the last three years in Hungary.
As the project to enlarge the Paks atomic power station continues, Hungary is acting in harmony with the EU’s energy policy considering that the European Commission itself is monitoring the maintenance of nuclear production capacity in the future, the government commissioner responsible for maintaining the capacity of the Paks atomic power station told the Hungarian News Agency MTI on Monday.
Last week, the Hungarian Parliament withdrew the law on the mandatory, Sunday closures for retail shops. The regulation, which provided a guarantee to workers in the retail sector that they would have a day off on Sunday, had been in effect since March 15, 2015. Now Hungary’s retail sector is again open for business on Sundays.
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.
The 2017 draft budget offers the chance to everyone to take a step forward, and there will be some who will have the opportunity to take a big leap forward, János Lázár, the minister heading the prime minister’s office said at the 46th Governmentinfo press conference.
At a meeting with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić in the norther Serbian town of Novi Sad on Wednesday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, when asked about Croatia’s attempts to hinder the opening of one of Serbia’s chapters of acquis, said that Hungary supports Serbia’s EU membership.
Following a temporary slow-down in January, output in the industrial sector rose by 6.3 percent year-on-year, and thus the sector posted output growth of 3 percent in the first two months of this year. Among major industrial sectors, the largest sub-sector – manufacturing – posted output growth of 7.5 percent in February, compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.
A strong domestic financial sector can -- through lending -- significantly contribute to the improvement of economic competitiveness as well as to investment and employment growth, Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga said at the staff meeting of the Hungarian Banking Association.
In his regular, radio interview on Friday morning, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that, on the EU’s quota system, “it cannot be the case that one member state alone makes a decision and the others suffer the consequences.” He also spoke about the symbolic significance of paying off the loan and that Hungary has good reason to celebrate this weekend.
After a Committee meeting of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that repaying the IMF-EU loan is an unprecedented achievement, which could not have been accomplished without friends like the OECD.
Thanks to Hungarian reforms and a prudent fiscal policy, the accumulated deficit of the central sub sector of the state budget fell to 125.8 billion HUF at the end of March 2016. In the same period one year ago, the deficit reached 536.7 billion HUF. The difference between the balance at the end of March 2016 and 2015 was the consequence of higher tax revenues and lower expenditures this year.
This week, Hungary made the last payment of 1.5 billion EUR to the European Commission, paying in full a loan taken in 2008-2009 by the previous Hungarian government. With this last payment, said Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga at a press conference on Wednesday, the Orbán Government has taken yet another step toward the goal it set out in 2010 to boost Hungary’s economic stability and financial independence.
The deficit of the central sub sector of the state budget closed the year 2015 much better than expected, with 1.9 percent of GDP, Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga said, commenting on the latest fiscal data released by the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH) earlier today. Another key indicator, the general government debt-to-GDP ratio also fell, to 75.3 percent.
“Europe is facing extremely serious security challenges and isolating ourselves is not a good solution at such times; both the European Union and NATO must be open to new alliances and partnerships”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in Budapest following negotiations with his Georgian counterpart.
It has been one of the government’s priorities to support enterprises that are genuine driving forces in the national economy; Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga said, upon announcing a capacity expansion project by Ajkai Elektronikai Ltd and AE-Plasztik Ltd.
Calendar-adjusted data show that in January 2016 the volume of retail sales grew by 2.2 percent year-on-year, compared to an already high base last year. This positive trend is expected to continue in coming months, as a result of steadily high consumer confidence, the reduction of the personal income tax, higher wages in real terms and the record-breaking employment level.
Nuclear power is the cornerstone of secure energy supply in Hungary today, and this will remain so in the long run, declared Miklós Seszták, minister for national development, after visiting the Paks Nuclear Power Plant on 21 March 2016. According to the minister, the nuclear power plant, which operates increasingly efficiently due to improvements, is also essential for maintaining the results of utility rate cuts.
Prime Minister Orbán, President of the Central Bank György Matolcsy and Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga appeared together this week at an event hosted by the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Recent weeks have brought a good deal of upbeat economic data related to 2015, so there was plenty of reason to be bullish on 2016.
In January 2016, data adjusted for workday-effects show that industrial output rose year-on-year by 2.2 percent. Following last year’s dynamic growth of 7.7 percent, the presumably transitory slow-down was the result of car industry production breaks at the end of the year.
At the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s business year-opening event, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced that the Government is introducing a new decision-making mechanism for EU calls for proposals. The Prime Minister also said that warding off the threat of migration may result in an enormous competitive advantage.
At the latest ECOFIN session, EU finance ministers discussed the recently published Country Reports of the European Commission. Outlining Hungary’s standpoint, Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga said that compared to the previous report of 2015, the study is more balanced, and it paints a much more favourable picture of the country’s economic situation. In addition, finance ministers agreed that the number of data exchanged automatically between tax authorities must be increased.
In Q4 2015, Hungary’s GDP grew by 3.2 percent year-on-year, while in 2015 the economy expanded by 2.9 percent. The government debt-to-GDP ratio, 75.3 percent, was also below prior estimates, down by 1 percentage point compared to the level of 2014.
“Hungarian automotive industry exports have never been so large; the level of exports reached 19.6 billion euros in 2015, an increase of some 14 percent or 2.4 billion euros compared to the previous year”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in Budapest on Monday.
The pace of the expansion of the Hungarian tourism sector is outstanding even from an international perspective; thanks to the exemplary cooperation of enterprises, professional organizations and the Government, Minister of National Economy Mihály Varga said at the 39th Travel Exhibition in Budapest.
This strategy aims to generate the driving force required for long-term economic growth, Minister of National Economy Mihály Varga told a press conference organized to present the new programme. Under the Plan, Hungary is to become one of the EU countries with the most highly developed industrial sectors by 2020.
The policy of reducing state debt is essential for bolstering economic growth, continuing job creation and the improvement of families’ positions, Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga said at a conference on state debt, organized by Hungarian think-tank Századvég in Budapest. Since 2010, Hungary has achieved the largest reduction of state debt, 8.2 percent, and we are the only country with an intact downward trend concerning the general government debt-to-GDP ratio.
Prime Minister Orbán has had a busy travel agenda in recent days, visiting Jakarta, Ulan Bator, Moscow, Brussels, and Prague — and in the same week, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło paid a visit to Hungary. The prime minister wasn’t the only one on the road of late. Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjártó also traveled to the United States last week.
In 2010, Hungarian voters went to the polls looking for change. Eight years of mismanagement of the economy by socialist-liberal governments left the country badly exposed in the financial crisis. Consumer confidence had collapsed, unemployment and the debt to GDP ratio was on the rise and so too was social instability and extremism.
In order to decrease its dependence on imported energy, Hungary aims to diversify its energy imports and increase the share of energy generated domestically. Nuclear energy presents an indispensable option to generate cheap energy, and the project to sustain capacity at the Paks Nuclear Power Plant will ensure that Hungary’s dependence on imported natural gas will not increase in the future.
The latest economic data is out. Hungary’s GDP grew in 2015 by 2.9 percent, beating the forecasts, and other preliminary data shows the debt-to-GDP ratio shrinking to 75.5%. A shrinking debt along side GDP growth indicates that this economy is growing organically, not from financing. In fact, last year was encouraging on a number of economic fronts.
“Hungarian-American economic cooperation has entered a new dimension with the formation of the American-Hungarian Business Forum”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó told Hungarian news agency MTI after attending the founding meeting of the organisation in New York.
Following talks on Wednesday with President of Russia Vladimir Putin at his state residence near Moscow, Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán said that his country’s cooperation with Russia on the expansion of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant was the agreement and deal of the century.
That Hungary and Russia have managed to improve relations, particularly in the current international climate, is first and foremost “rooted in the sense of responsibility” and marks “a true miracle,” said Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán yesterday following his annual meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó is holding talks in the United States’ second largest state. Negotiations in Texas are primarily centred on the economy, but Hungary’s chief diplomat will also be signing an agreement with the Mayor of Dallas in addition to holding a lecture on current negotiations concerning the free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union.
In December 2015, the volume of industrial output grew by 9.4 percent year-on-year, and thus the sector expanded by 7.5 percent in the year 2015. Current data show that the Hungarian industrial sector posted sustainable, balanced growth and now there is a realistic opportunity for Central and Eastern Europe – within that for Hungary – to become the growth engine of the EU, Deputy State Secretary for Economic Development and Regulation István Lepsényi said at a press conference where he presented the Governm
Agreements on the facilitation of Hungarian-Romanian energy and transport development projects have been successfully concluded with the new Romanian Government, which has a much more open and pragmatic approach to joint projects that its predecessor”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Minister of State for Economic Diplomacy Levente Magyar said on Friday in Bucharest.
Last week, one of France’s credit insurance companies, Coface, presented a report on the world economic outlook for 2016. In the report, Coface named only one country eligible for a credit rating upgrade: Hungary.
Tourism arrivals were up with regard to both foreign and domestic guests in November 2015. Accommodation establishment revenues generated by domestic guests rose by 17.3 percent year-on-year, as domestic tourism traffic saw further stable growth. Thus, in spite of the light drop in the number of tourism nights by foreigners, the total number of tourism nights grew by 2.4 percent.
The European Commission’s notification regarding the investigation of the Paks II project regarding possible state aid has been released. The Hungarian Government takes the view that the summary contains a number of inaccuracies and misunderstandings as well as unfounded and misleading claims.
Minister of Agriculture Sándor Fazekas told Hungarian news agency MTI in an assessment of the sector’s performance over the past year that “Hungarian agriculture performed well in 2015, despite difficult conditions”.
Minister of State Pál Völner told Hungarian public television M1 on 30 December 2015 that the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) will control brokerage houses more frequently in order to avoid investment frauds.