See below main business and financial news from the previous week:
GOVERNMENT TO CONTINUE PAYROLL TAX CUTS IN 2019
Hungary’s new government will continue to reduce the payroll tax and increase tax preferences for families with two children, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told public radio. The payroll tax will be reduced by a further two percentage points in 2019, and the tax preference for families with two children will be raised to HUF 40,000 (EUR 125) a month.
HUNGARY MOVES UP TO 47TH PLACE IN IMD WORLD COMPETITIVENESS INDEX
Hungary moved up five spots to 47th place in the latest annual IMD World Competitiveness Ranking. Hungary’s competitiveness was boosted in part by a reduction in corporate taxes and growth in overall productivity, IMD said.
HUNGARIAN CULTURAL AND ECONOMIC CENTRE OPENED IN NIGERIA
Nigeria has joined the network of HTCC (Hungaran Trade and Cultural Center). There are many Hungarian houses on the African continent, now they also have one in Nigeria. Read more HERE.
FURTHER DELAY IN THE INTRODUCTION OF THE ELECTRONIC TICKET SYSTEM IN BUDAPEST
Barely a year ago, we reported that the introduction of the electronic ticketing system in Budapest is much needed and is expected to be delayed. A couple of days ago, it was revealed that instead of the planned twelve years, the project would be finished in thirteen. Read more HERE.
WIZZ AIR NET PROFIT UP 22PC
Hungarian low-fare airline Wizz Air‘s net profit rose by 22 percent to 275 million euros in the business year ended on March 31, an earnings report showed. Revenue rose by 24 percent to 1.9 billion euros, lifted by higher passenger numbers and a 24 percent rise in ancillary revenues. Wizz Air’s guidance for the current business year shows net profit of 310-340 million euros.
ECB REVIEWS HUNGARY’S EURO CONVERGENCE PROGRESS IN BIANNUAL REPORT
The European Central Bank (ECB) said Hungary needs “stability-oriented economic policies” and “wide-ranging structural reforms” in a report on euro convergence. “Hungary would benefit from structural reforms aimed at promoting private sector-led growth, such as by improving the governance of institutions and by cutting red tape and the tax burden where excessive,” the ECB said in the biannual report.
HUNGARY WAGE GROWTH STAYS IN DOUBLE DIGITS
The average gross monthly wage of full-time employees in Hungary rose by an annual 11.3 percent to 331,500 forints (EUR 1,038) in March, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said. The average monthly net wage climbed at the same pace to 220,500 forints. Calculating with an annualised CPI of 2.0 percent in March, real wages rose by 9.1 percent.
NBH POLICY MAKERS KEEP BASE RATE ON HOLD
The National Bank of Hungary’s Monetary Council decided to keep the central bank’s key rate on hold at 0.9 percent at a monthly policy meeting. The Council has left the base rate on hold since signalling an end to an easing cycle at a policy meeting in the spring of 2016. However, the rate-setters have made use of “unconventional, targeted” instruments to ease monetary policy further.
ZWACK UNICUM PROFIT EDGES DOWN
After-tax profit of Zwack Unicum, Hungary’s best known spirts maker, fell by 2 percent to 2.2 billion forints (EUR 6.9m) in its business year ended March 31, an earnings report showed. Revenue, net of taxes also fell by about 2 percent to 14 billion.
PRE-FINANCING FOR EU PROJECTS BRINGS BUDGET DEFICIT CLOSE TO 80PC OF FULL-YEAR TARGET
Hungary’s cash flow-based budget, excluding local councils, ran a 1,081.4 billion forint (EUR 3.4bn) deficit at the end of April, reaching 79.5 percent of the 1,360.7 billion full-year target, the finance ministry confirmed. The ministry noted that pre-financing for EU-funded projects reached 857.2 billion forints by the end of April, while transfers from Brussels came to just 63.9 billion forints.
HUNGARY TO WARN, NOT SANCTION, SMES THAT DON’T COMPLY WITH GDPR
Hungarian SMEs will be warned, but not sanctioned, if they fail to comply with new European Union data protection rules that apply from May 25, 2018, Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office said at a press briefing. Hungary will follow the example of Austria, and the National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (NAIH) will only issue a warning to SMEs that do not comply with the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), he added.
LEGO MANUFACTURING KFT REVENUE REACHES EUR 10M IN 2017
Revenue of the Hungarian unit of Danish toymaker Lego rose by 9 percent to 33 billion forints (EUR 10m) last year, Lego Manufacturing Kft told MTI. After-tax profit of the unit increased by 45 percent to 1.14 billion.