15 Feb 2019
A preliminary release of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (HCSO) has revealed that Hungary’s GDP grew by 5.0% year-on-year in Q4 2018, despite a slowdown having been forecast by analysts.
Despite the many struggles faced externally – such as disadvantageous Eurozone activity and trade wars – the Hungarian economy managed to record optimistic results.
Even though HCSO is yet to publish further details, the service and retail sectors were revealed to have majorly impacted GDP growth.
A Finance Ministry official revealed that Hungary is aiming to increase its GDP by 4% in 2019 and 2020 unless the EU’s broader economy were to witness a sharp slowdown. Nonetheless, it would still surpass the bloc. Reuters reports that the EU – being Hungary’s largest export market – saw far fewer positive results. Germany, which is the biggest destination for Hungary’s exports, recorded flat growth of 0.0% in Q4 2018.
Gábor Gion, state secretary at Hungary’s Ministry of Finance, told Reuters: “Currently, we plan 4% growth as we don’t see a further reduction in growth in the EU.
“If there’s a further or significant reduction in growth in the EU, or globally, then our target is to outgrow the EU by 2 percentage points.”
Gion pointed out how Brexit’s consequences could negatively impact the Hungarian economy if it were to slow down demand for exports.
“The UK is our 11th largest investor in Hungary but it (Brexit) also offers an opportunity for us to host some businesses who plan to leave the UK as a result of Brexit,” he said.
He went on to say that in 2019, Hungary’s growth will be boosted by wage growth and private and public investment.