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HUNGARY TO KEEP GROWTH EDGE OVER EURO ZONE IN SPITE OF PANDEMIC

 

The National Bank of Hungary (NBH) projects Hungary’s economy will expand more slowly this year because of measures to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, but it will maintain its growth advantage over countries in the euro zone. The NBH put Hungary’s 2020 GDP growth in a range of 2.0%-3.0% in its latest quarterly Inflation Report. The central bank said growth is likely to “slow significantly” in the first half of the year because of the negative effects of the pandemic, but pick up in the second half as the negative effects wane and lost economic activity is regained. In the previous Inflation Report, released in December, the NBH had put 2020 GDP growth at 3.7%. In spite of the expected slowdown in growth this year, the NBH expects the economy to expand at a clip 2.2-2.6 percentage points over the rate in the euro zone. The government has made it a policy goal to keep GDP growth two percentage points over that in euro-zone countries.