Hungary can meet the Maastricht criteria for the introduction of the euro by the end of 2024, the chairman of the Budget Council (KT) announced on Thursday at the 53rd delegate meeting of the Fejér County Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Székesfehérvár.
In his presentation entitled The Positions and Prospects of public finances in the World and the Hungarian Economy in the Spring of 2023, Árpád Kovács talked about the fact that the consumer price index was 25.4 percent in February, but could fall to around 3 percent by the summer of 2024, while the public debt will fall well below 70 percent next year by the end of the year, and the public budget deficit may be around 2.9 percent.
In his forecast, he pointed out that the Hungarian GDP could show growth of around 1 percent this year and between 3.5-4 percent next year, while with inflation falling below 10 percent by the end of the year, a much better inflation environment is expected in 2024.
He mentioned that, based on GDP per capita, Hungary is currently at the beginning of the bottom third of the EU ranking, ahead of Portugal and Slovakia, among others, but by 2029 it could move into the middle field.
Árpád Kovács said that Hungary’s nominal GDP has been rising since 2020, not only due to inflationary effects but also due to volume expansion. This year, the gross domestic product will be HUF 78 thousand billion, he added.
He also spoke about the huge decline in domestic retail sales: in durable consumer goods, electronic products and food trade, which will also have a negative impact on VAT revenues, which have been rising for years.
The role of the state is significant in investments, which are now showing a decrease, but at the same time, due to price increases, they are increasing in terms of value. There is also an increase in vehicle production and tourism, said the president of the KT.