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Up to 4 per cent GDP growth predicted

March 13th, 2017

As experts forecast steady growth in the forthcoming two years, a conservative and a left-wing economist agree that in order to maintain fast growth, Hungary needs to improve competitiveness through investing more in education.

The next big task for the Hungarian government is to boost economic productivity, Csaba Szajlai writes in Magyar Hírlap. The conservative economist recalls that PM Orbán as well as analysts at the National Bank have called for reforms to help to improve Hungary’s competitiveness through simplifying bureaucracy and tax cuts. Szajlai underscores that fast economic growth as predicted by the Hungarian government can only be achieved through massive investment in education and by cooperation with business leaders and trade unions.

In Heti Válasz, Zoltán Pogátsa calls for more state intervention in the economy through public investment projects. The left-wing economist points out that large-scale investments launched by the state have helped boost competitiveness and productivity in several emerging economies including China, South Korea and Singapore. Pogátsa thinks that Fidesz was justified in its criticism of neoliberal economic dogma, but failed to live up to its promises and overcome the same neoliberal ideas that it used to lambast. Instead of trying to make the Hungarian economy more competitive through low wages and taxes, the Orbán government should invest more in human capital and spend more on health care and education on the one hand, and tax more multinational companies in order to help small and medium-sized Hungarian firms, Pogátsa recommends.

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