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GDP growth exceeds expectations

November 18th, 2013

The leading left-wing daily contends that faster growth has little to do with the government’s unconventional economic policies. A conservative columnist, on the other hand, believes that the Orbán government has managed to put the Hungarian economy back on the right track.

The Central Statistical Office reported a 1.7 per cent year on year GDP growth on Thursday. Analysts had expected Hungarian economic output to rise by less than one per cent. Commenting on the report, analysts in Hungary have revised their growth estimates upward both for 2013 and 2014. Economy Minister Mihály Varga said that in 2014, GDP growth could exceed 2 per cent.

The surprisingly high growth rate as well as the low inflation rate (see BudaPost November 14) are good news, but the improvement is due to foreign investors rather than the government, Népszabadság writes in a front page editorial. The left-wing daily believes that the unconventional economic policies of the Orbán government have had little to do with faster growth and lower inflation. The left-wing daily accuses the government of unpredictable, controversial and ad hoc policies. PM Orbán should be thankful to German car manufacturers for boosting the economy with their investments, Népszabadság suggests.

In Magyar Nemzet, Anna Szabó see the statistics as proof that the Hungarian economy is on the right track now. The pro-government commentator points out that the Hungarian economy is growing faster while most other European economies are still stagnating. Szabó believes that the higher growth rate is precisely the result of the unconventional policies pursued by the Orbán government. She sees the cheap investment loan program introduced by the National Bank (see Budapost September 16), base rate cuts and increasing disposable incomes as the primary facilitators of faster growth.

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