Economic research institute Századvég raised its projections for GDP growth in Hungary to 4.3% for 2019 and 3.7% for 2020 in a fresh forecast, but did not rule out a 5% growth rate for this year. The projections for 2019 and 2020 were raised from 3.9% and 3.5%, respectively, in a forecast released by the think-tank in March.
Századvég said the growth rates would be lifted by consumption. Consumption is seen rising by 4.5% in 2019 and by 4.9% in 2020 on the back of rising wages. Századvég put Hungary’s foreign trade volume at 4.1 billion euros for this year and at 4.5 billion euros for 2020. Inflation is set to reach 3.5% in 2019 and 3.2% next year. The unemployment rate is seen declining over the coming 18 months and is expected to fall to 3.4% this year and 3.2% in 2020, Századvég said. The average gross wage is set to continue rising by over 10%, the think-tank said, putting wage growth for 2019 and 2020 at 10.5% and 10.8%, respectively. Századvég said the central bank could raise the key interest rate to 1.35% by the end of next year.
Századvég lists the slowdown of the German economy, uncertainty over Brexit, trade wars, the outcome of measures meant to improve competitiveness, changes in global oil prices and the forint’s exchange rate as the biggest risks to Hungary’s economy.