Budapest (MTI) – See below MTI’s main business and financial news from the previous week:
Hungary’s GDP grew by 1.6 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter, a first reading of data published by the Central Statistical Office (KSH) shows. GDP was up by 2.0 percent for the full year. Hungary’s government expected GDP growth to reach 2.1 percent in 2016.
Consumer prices in Hungary rose by 2.3 percent year-on-year in January, accelerating from a 1.8 percent increase in December, KSH said. Twelve-month CPI surpassed 2 percent for the first time since May 2013, accelerating mainly on a steep rise of vehicle fuel prices which rose by 15.2 percent.
Hungary’s state debt, calculated according to Maastricht rules, stood at 73.9 percent of GDP at the end of December, down from 74.3 percent of GDP at the end of September, the National Bank of Hungary said concerning Hungary’s financial accounts. In nominal terms, state debt reached 25,922 billion forints in Q4 2016.
The National Bank of Hungary is drafting measures that would make it easier to compare lending products and switch banks as well as support the expansion of digital banking services, all with the aim of reducing the cost of borrowing, deputy governor Márton Nagy said in an interview.
The state of Hungary is suspending 20 billion forints in funding to Budapest allocated for the metro 4 project because of alleged misappropriation uncovered in a report by the European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF), government office chief János Lázár said on public radio. Read more news about METRO 4 FRAUD HERE.
Output of Hungary’s automotive sector, a key driver of industry in the country, fell by 6.9 percent year-on-year in December, a detailed reading of data released by KSH shows. Headline industrial output was down by 0.5 percent.
The government will allocate 44 billion forints in 2017 to raise pay at state-owned companies to be followed by a 48 billion forints allocation next year and 28.5 billion forints in 2019, state secretary of the national development ministry Janos Fonagy said. Salaries for 143,000 employees at 230 state-owned companies will gradually be raised by 30 percent over the three years. Read more HERE.
Hungary’s real-term GDP growth is expected to be 3.5 percent this year, the European Commission said in its 2017 winter economic forecast, in an upward revision from the 2.6 percent growth predicted in its earlier November forecast.
The European Commission launched an infringement procedure against Hungary regarding legislation on retail food sales and stepped up another infringement procedure on measures dealing with environmental noise. Read more HERE.
Hungary’s construction sector output fell by 14.9 percent year-on-year in December 2016, now falling for the twelfth month in a row, KSH said. The December decrease in output was almost unchanged from the 14.7 percent year-on-year fall in November 2016.