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VARGA: ECONOMIC ACHIEVEMENTS RECOGNISED EVEN BY FORMER CRITICS

 

Hungary’s economic achievements have been recognised even by those that used to be the harshest critics, the finance minister said in parliament commenting on the country’s recent credit ratings. Fitch Ratings raised Hungary’s Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings to ‘BBB’ from ‘BBB-’ at a scheduled review last Friday, a week after Standard and Poor’s improved its rating of Hungarian long- and short-term government debt to ‘BBB / A-2′.
The trends projected by the ratings agencies coincide with the government’s expectations, Mihály Varga said. He also noted Statistical Office figures showing that Hungary’s economy expanded by 5% in the last quarter of 2018 while euro zone and Germany expansion slowed down. Hungary is among the leaders both in European and regional terms, he added. Last year’s 4.8% growth resulted from an economic path that pushes growth in every sector, unlike during the Socialist-led governments of the past that achieved growth through privatisation, Varga said. Public debt has been reduced from 83% of GDP to under 71% while the number of workers increased to 4.5 million from 3.8 million in 2010, Varga said. Hungary’s unemployment rate at 3.6% is among the four best in the EU, he added. Gross wages grew by over 11% last year and inflation stayed under 3%, which means that the good economic performance can also be felt by the public, Varga said. Among the tasks, the minister mentioned increasing competitiveness, expanding employment, reducing the public debt and strengthening families.