The European Commission’s latest forecast shows that not even experts in Brussels can ignore any more that in the first quarter of this year the growth of the Hungarian economy not only did not slow down, but with an expansion of 5.3 per cent Hungary is number one in the EU rankings, László Balogh, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance said on the public service television news channel M1.

The Deputy State Secretary said this in response to the fact that in its summer projection released on Wednesday, the European Commission further upgraded Hungary’s economic growth forecast for this year. The experts of the Brussels body’s Directorate-General for Economic and Financial affairs have increased the growth rate of the Hungarian gross domestic product (GDP) for this year by 0.7 percentage points, compared with the spring report, to 4.4 per cent, while they have left next year’s projected growth rate at 2.8 per cent. In his view, “finally,” the EU’s Commission is working professionally, “on the basis of the facts” and the actual figures.

Mr Balogh highlighted that at this point in time it would be premature to assess the possible growth of the economy in the second quarter; the first estimates of the Central Statistical Office are expected to be released at the beginning of August. Regarding this, however, it is possible to establish already at this stage that the first quarter’s growth dynamism continued equally as regards industrial production, investments, the construction industry, consumption and retail sales. The investment rate is also high, it is above 25 per cent, he pointed out.

The Deputy State Secretary also mentioned that the Hungarian Government Securities Plus had broken all previous records as in just five weeks they had already sold securities worth HUF 1,150 billion. The product is highly attractive as it offers a high return. At the same time, by virtue of the fact that these securities are purchased by Hungarian investors, their yields also remain with them. This, on the one hand, reduces the country’s vulnerability, and on the other, the returns are restored to the economy which thereby also contribute to growth, Mr Balogh stressed.

(Ministry of Finance/MTI)