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Hungary’s economic record and outlook

July 6th, 2021

A conservative economist believes that Hungary’s growth rate confirms the wisdom of the government’s economic policies. Another analyst notes that Hungary is lagging behind most new EU member states in terms of growth.

In Magyar Nemzet, Csaba Szajlai projects fast growth for Hungary this year. The conservative economist recalls that the IMF, the National Bank, multiple commercial banks and even left-leaning economic centres have upgraded their growth forecasts. The European Commission now expects the Hungarian GDP to increase by 7.7 per cent in 2021. Szajlai adds that the level of foreign investment is projected to remain high, and wages have also increased significantly. He takes these numbers as indication that the government has created a highly resilient economy which might hopefully make Hungary one of the most successful countries in the EU, by 2030.

In Portfolio, Péter Vakhal, a fellow at the Kopint-Tárki economic research centre, looks back on Hungary’s post-EU accession years. He notes that in regional comparison, Hungary’s economy has been slower than the average of the new member states in catching up with the EU. In 2004, Hungary was the 5th most advanced country in Eastern Europe, but by now it has slipped to the 10th position on the list. Vakhal underlines that most new EU member states that joined the Union with or after Hungary have caught up with Western European economies more swiftly. As for the future, Vakhal thinks inflation is the most imminent threat to the Hungarian economy.

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