Hungary targets 5.2% GDP growth for next year

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The Hungarian parliament approved on Tuesday the country’s budget for 2022, targeting a 5.2 percent growth and a 5.9 percent increase in public debt, daily Magyar Nemzet reports.

The budget was approved with 132 yes and 26 no votes by the 199-seat legislation, translating into an 83.5 percent majority.

The key figures of the budget are a dynamic, 5.2 percent economic growth, inflation at 3 percent and an increase in public debt by 5.9 percent of the GDP, a figure that is in line with European trends. As the coronavirus pandemic hit last year, the European Union relaxed its otherwise strict requirement of a maximum 3 percent budget deficit for member states.

Next year’s budget deficit was set at  3,153 billion forints (€8.97 billion), with general reserves of HUF 233 billion forints (€663 million) and a public debt of 79.3 percent by the end of next year.

The focus of the recovery remains on job creation, support for families with children and the protection of the elderly, as well as the development of key sectors for the Hungarian economy. In addition, climate protection goals and digitalization will play a significant role, the budget preamble says.

Like this year, next year’s budget will have two pillars. The amount of the economic reboot fund in 2022 will exceed 7,300 billion forints, which is 13 percent of next year’s GDP. The health insurance and epidemic prevention fund exceeds 3,600 billion forints.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán reaffirmed that the government was targeting a 5.5 percent GDP growth for this year, and if it succeeds, families with children will have this year’s income tax reimbursed for those with an average income or less.

“We need to raise economic growth above 5.5 percent. It’s a huge task, but not impossible,” Orbán said in a Facebook post.

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