Budapest, September 30 (MTI) – Economy Minister Mihály Varga welcomed GDP readings released by the Central Statistical Office (KSH) on Friday, showing growth of 3.1 percent over last year. Varga noted that the figure is faster than the 2.9 percent growth predicted earlier. He said the budget deficit was calculated at 1.6 percent of GDP, lower than the 2 percent seen earlier, which also shows improvement.
Varga said he would propose the establishment of a competitiveness council to the government, for better planning of improving competitiveness in the coming years. The council will include members of academia, the business world and the public sector, the minister said.
Recently Hungary improved two places in Switzerland-based IMD’s competitiveness ranking, but slipped six places to 69th in the World Economic Forum’s global ranking. Varga noted that the government is not satisfied with Hungary’s relative positioning in the rankings.
Hungary’s gross domestic product (GDP) at current prices was 33.999 trillion forints (EUR 109.9bn) in 2015, up by 3.1 percent at constant prices, compared with the previous year, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Friday in a second preliminary reading of national accounts data.
Per capita GDP was calculated at 3.454 million forints, corresponding to 19,665 euros in purchasing power parity. The budget deficit was 533.9 billion euros in 2015, 1.6 percent of GDP according to the preliminary data of national accounts. Public-sector debt based on National Bank of Hungary data was 25,402 billion forints, 74.7 percent of GDP at the end of 2015.
The ministry of economy said that the government is committed to see a steady drop in public debt and keep the state budget stable on the long run. Hungary has kept its budget deficit below 3 percent of GDP for several years in a row, it said. The ministry also noted that it is expected to publish a report on state debt and central budget data next week in the form of an excessive deficit procedure (EDP) report on the country’s progress in meeting euro convergence criteria.