Hungary’s economy has been placed on a growth path that is much more balanced and faster-rising than it was before, but the narrowing of the economic gap with developed countries necessitates further productivity and competitiveness growth, Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga said, following the first session of the National Competitiveness Council. And through the increase of competitiveness, the Minister added, the Government wants to see further wage increases.
In January 2017, the volume of retail sales rose by 4.8 percent year-on-year, which shows that a 43-month growth trend has remained in place. Sales growth exceeded the EU average. The growth in disposable income was higher than that of retail sales, which signals a robust savings trend and the potential for further consumption growth.
The central sub sector of the state budget closed the first two months of 2017 with a surplus of EUR 180.4bn, the best figure in the past fifteen years. Fiscal data already show that measures introduced under the six-year wage increase and tax reduction agreement are taking effect.
Brussels may not restrict Internet access in the 21th century through blocking the use of a preferential VAT rate, Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga said, following an ECOFIN meeting in Brussels. The Government wants Internet access for more and more people at reasonable prices, therefore it will do all it can to make sure that besides Hungary any member state, which considers digitalization to be important, is capable of applying a preferential VAT rate.
In the report published on Friday by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the institute is mainly upbeat about Hungary’s economic policy measures, but concerning some critical remarks it had ignored a number of key factors.
In January 2017, gross wages were up by 10 percent year-on-year, rising to HUF 273 800, which means that families can already see the effect of the six-year wage agreement, Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga said. Even taken into account subdued inflation, wages in real terms rose outstandingly, by 7.5 percent. Thus wages in real terms have been rising uninterruptedly, since the beginning of 2013, for 49 consecutive months in Hungary, he stated.
In January 2017, output in the construction sector “almost skyrocketed”, driven by investment incentives introduces last year, Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga told public news channel M1.
Issues related to the posting and employment of workers in the framework of the provision of services, a major European pillar of social rights, were on top of the agenda discussed by Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga and the European Commission’s Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility Marianne Thyssen.
The knowledge possessed by domestic companies is competitive even from a global perspective, Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga said at the presentation of the Awards for Successful Enterprises. As the Minister added, there was one common feature in the leaders of successful companies: bravery, knowledge and agility that led to achievement.
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