Finance Minister Mihaly Varga – Photo: MTI

Finance Minister points to GDP growth over 4 percent in 2024

Hungary's GDP growth could climb over 4 percent next year, thanks to measures bolstering stability, Finance Minister Mihaly Varga said at an event organised by governing alliance partner KDNP and the National Forum Association in Lakitelek, in the southeast of the country, on Saturday.

In a statement issued by his ministry, Varga said the “harmful effect of sanctions” is showing up in Hungary’s assessment by rating agencies, but noted that the country’s sovereign rating is still two notches higher than it was at the start of the last decade.

Rating agency S+P Global downgraded Hungary to BBB- on Friday, one notch over the investment grade threshold. All of the big three rating agencies put Hungary’s sovereign rating in the investment grade category.

The Hungarian economy’s “proven resilience” against the challenges posed by the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and Brussels’ sanctions policy provides the foundation for growth, he said.

He noted that the number of employed Hungarians has risen close to 4.7 million and pledged continued government support to preserve and create workplaces, keeping the jobless rate under 4 percent.

The industrial and construction sectors, along with investments, can also “drive” GDP growth, he said.

He pointed to stabilisation measures the government has taken since May 2022, putting the fiscal deficit and public debt ratios on a downward path. This year’s budget deficit will fall to 3.9 percent of GDP, while the public debt ratio drops under 70 percent, he added.

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