Despite extraordinary expenditures, the government has consistently reduced the budget deficit and the national debt year after year, the Ministry of Finance emphasized in its interim report released on the situation of the central subsystem of public finances, excluding local governments, at the end of November.
According to the Hungarian government, ‘preserving the ethnic foundations is our joint responsibility’, and as long as that exists, the politics based on ethnic groups also has a future, the Hungarian prime minister said.
Hungary’s economy expanded by 0.9 per cent in the third quarter of this year compared with the previous quarter, adjusted data show, and contracted by 0.4 per cent year on year, based on unadjusted data, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Tuesday.
In his regular Friday morning interview with public Kossuth radio, Viktor Orbán addressed issues such as migration, the economy and Ukraine’s EU accession.
During a scheduled press conference, Gergely Gulyás said the government expects inflation to drop significantly by the end of November. Regarding the frozen EU funds, he noted that Hungary is obviously functioning without them as well.
As a result of a series of government initiatives, both households and institutional players have significantly increased their holdings of government bonds. In an unprecedented manner, households now hold a larger amount of government bonds than bank deposits.
The director of the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) András Balatoni explained that the strict monetary policy, decreasing global commodity prices compared to last year, restrained consumption, and market-boosting measures by the government are increasingly exerting a disinflationary effect.
Viktor Orbán discussed the recently announced pension raise on public radio today. As for the broader topic of inflation, he expressed his conviction that his government will curb it by the end of the year, down to single digits, opining that it could be as low as 4–6 per cent next year.
Mihály Varga pointed out during the introductory economic policy roundtable discussion that the government has taken measures to reduce inflation risks, which have yielded results. This is confirmed by the analyses of major credit rating agencies, which are ‘filled with positive findings,’ he said.
At an extraordinary government press briefing on Wednesday, chief of the PM’s Office Gergely Gulyás said the government may impose a ban on Ukrainian grain imports after 15 September within its own competence if the EC fails to act.
As Japan’s example continues to illustrate, hope and one’s true objective must never be forgotten, let alone given up. For Hungary, as for Japan, national interests and the progress of the nation constitute both the foremost goal and the means to achieve it.
The Ministry of Economic Development said in a statement that the increased demand for government bonds has both directly and indirectly improved the government’s self-financing capability, reduced government interest expenditures, and managed to preserve the real value of citizens’ savings. Additionally, government measures have contributed to the fact that individuals are making more conscious decisions about their savings, turning towards higher-yielding assets in a high yield environment.
The Prime Minister stated that both the European and Hungarian economies are influenced by the Russo-Ukrainian war. If the war were to end, both economies could show their ‘better side.’
For the government, the successful fight against inflation is a key issue as it aims to restore the previous trend of continuous wage growth, disrupted by the protracted war and the misguided sanctions.
Government spokesperson Alexandra Szentkirályi noted on public radio that inflation decreased to 17.6 per cent in July, representing a 2.5 per cent decrease compared to the previous month, and a 0.9 per cent decrease in food prices. On an annual basis, the combined effect of multiple government measures has practically cut the inflation of food prices in half, she stressed.
Based on the latest data, nearly 4.8 million people are employed in Hungary, and the unemployment rate stands at 3.8 per cent, well below the EU average. The data reflects that the Hungarian labour market remains tight, and employment is in good condition, State Secretary Sándor Czomba stated.
According to the ministry’s statement issued on 4 August, in July the average prices of products in 62 product categories decreased by an average of 7.7 per cent. This reduction was a result of price decreases in 53 product categories within one month. The decrease in food prices had a 0.7 percentage point impact on reducing inflation and a two percentage point impact on reducing food inflation according to the weighting of the shopping basket used by the Central Statistical Office.
To further intensify price competition, the government decided to raise the level of mandatory discounts from ten per cent to at least 15 per cent starting today.
It is important to remember that, compared to the stable period of 2017–2018, some 80 per cent of the rise in inflation in Hungary could be attributed to external circumstances, and only 20 per cent to strictly domestic reasons. Taking into account the ambivalent effects of the war situation and the ensuing sanctions, these rates are likely to remain important determinants of inflation developments in 2023.
Brussels should emerge from this leadership crisis as soon as possible, and from this perspective, next year will be crucial, Balázs Orbán said in reference to the upcoming European parliamentary elections.
The CEO of BNP Paribas Cardif, Márk István Kiss, noted in the press release presenting the results of the survey that the rising prices and the challenging economic situation have not significantly impacted labour market processes, and the mood of Hungarian employees seems to be stabilising overall.
Orbán noted that according to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Joe Biden could put an end to the war, adding that he actually agrees with the Ukrainian President. ‘If the United States said they want peace, it would happen by tomorrow morning,’ the PM opined, stating that he cannot comprehend why the Americans do not want to do that, and there was no answer at the NATO summit to that question either.
Minister Gulyás announced that the maximum amount of the childbirth incentive loan (Babaváró hitel) will increase to 11 million forints. This change will come into effect in 2024 and will apply to couples where the woman is under 30 years old. also announced that the food price caps will be extended for one more month, but they will be phased out as of August as they have fulfilled their purpose. Forecasts indicate that inflation is decreasing. At the same time, food retailers mandatory discounts will be increased from 10 to 15 per cent.
The 2024 budget is a defence budget because during times of war, Hungary needs a budget that guarantees its security, protects families, pensions, jobs, and reduces utility costs, the Hungarian finance minister stated in parliament on Tuesday.
Viktor Orbán explained why his politics will eventually be proven right: ‘We were the only ones who said that borders must be protected during the migration crisis. Later, more and more EU member states realised that we were right. The same will happen regarding the war’, he underlined.
Starting from today, the mandatory discount programme has been launched in grocery stores all over the country to make sure Hungarian families have access to basic foodstuffs at affordable prices.
In its Tuesday report, the bank estimated a real growth of 0.4 per cent for 2023 and 3.5 per cent for 2024 in Hungary. The bank increased its estimate for the Hungarian Gross Domestic Product growth this year by 0.6 percentage points and raised the growth projection for next year by a full percentage point.