Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

Conflicting takes on the economy in 2022

December 24th, 2022

A left-wing commentator suggests that 2022 was a tough year for Hungarians because the economy was mismanaged by the government. A conservative economist points out that real wages have been on the rise in Hungary.

Quoting a survey by the Ipsos pollster company in Népszava, Tamás Balassa writes that Hungary had a very bad year in 2022. (Ipsos also reported that most Hungarians are confident that 2023 will be better than 2022.) The left-wing commentator notes that the highest levels of dissatisfaction with the past year in the whole of Europe were measured among the citizens of Hungary and the UK. Balassa interprets these numbers as evidence that Hungarians do not buy into government propaganda, according to which life is even worse in other EU countries.

On Mandiner, Piroska Szalai dismisses suggestions that Hungarian wages are the second lowest in the EU as claimed by left-wing media outlets  quoting the latest OECD survey of employee’s wages. The survey suggested that only Bulgarians were worse off, and that the spending power of Hungarians is only one quarter of that of Austrians. The conservative economist points out that this claim was based on a purely technical indicator that does not reflect actual incomes. In terms of average wages, Hungary ranks 19th in the EU, having surpassed Portugal, Greece and Czechia in the past two years, she suggests. Szalai adds that the average real wage stood at 35 per cent of the EU average in 2010, and at 47 per cent in 2021. As for the future, she remarks that according to the OECD’s projection, Hungarian real wages are expected to rise the fastest in the EU in 2022 and in 2023.

Tags: ,