Budapest, May 13 (MTI) – The lower-than-expected 0.9 percent economic growth in the first quarter this year is a temporary blip, Economy Minister Mihály Varga said on Friday.
Market projections for the first quarter GDP growth were around 2 percent and the economy ministry expected 1.7 percent GDP growth compared with the same period last year.
He attributed the slowdown to lower vehicle industry output and lower European Union payments. As against the planned 500 billion forints (EUR 1.6bn), only 150 billion-160 billion forints were transferred in the first quarter. Tenders were invited later than expected and this slowed down the scheduling of transfers, he said.
Other data suggest the slowdown won’t last. The construction industry is generally growing, he said, with 60 percent more contracts and a doubling of building permits issued for new homes. And there are 145,000 more people with jobs compared with the same period last year, Varga said.
Hungary’s economy grows 0.9 pc yr/yr in Q1
Hungarian gross domestic product grew by an annual 0.9 percent in the first quarter of 2016, based on unadjusted data, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said in a first reading of data on Friday.
The preliminary number is well below the 3.2 percent annual growth figure recorded in the fourth quarter of last year.
In a seasonally and working-day-adjusted comparison, first-quarter GDP fell by 0.8 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015.