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Christmas consumer spending skyrockets

December 24th, 2019

A pro-government economist interprets record end of year spending as a proof of Hungary’s prosperity. A left-wing commentator criticizes untrammelled consumerism.

In Magyar Nemzet, Gergely Kiss comments on the National Commerce Alliance’s projection according to which Hungarians are likely to spend more than 1,200 billion Forints over Christmas. The pro-government columnist contends that the unprecedentedly high volume of end of year spending is another indication that Hungarian families are doing well. Kiss attributes this to the government’s tax cuts and the National Bank’s decision to keep the base rate low. Despite fears from the Left that such policies will ruin the economy, the past 10 years have shown that the Orbán government is on the right economic path, Kiss concludes.

Népszava’s András Törő finds it sad that Christmas have become such a feast of consumerism. The left-wing commentator writes that buying expensive presents is seen as proof of love and caring, and therefore people are willing to take on huge debts to show their commitment to their friends and relatives. Törő suggests spending more time together and taking care of one another, rather than expressing belonging and love through gifts.

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