Domestic industry expanded by 4 percent in the first quarter despite the fact that the automotive industry, which has the highest weight and growth potential in Hungary, fell by 3.6 percent. The overall growth spurt despite the slowdown in automobile production shows that Hungarian industry has a balanced structure and has several strong points.
In addition, the temporary stagnation in the automotive industry did not happen because there were no orders. Instead, the overriding factor is that the global raw material supply chain has serious bottlenecks and delays at the moment, which has had a negative impact on the entire world’s automotive industry, including Hungary.
The data also indicates that there is huge growth potential for Hungarian industry this year. If the supply problems caused by the COVID-19 crisis affecting the operation of the world economy are resolved and the restrictive measures are eased not only in Hungary but also elsewhere, there will be a significant demand for our country’s industrial products.
Let us not forget in 2020 in Germany alone, there were hundreds of billions of euros in extra savings from simply not being able to spend their disposable income during the epidemic. This is almost three quarters of the annual performance of the Hungarian GDP. The savings rate of Hungarian households also increased by almost 30 percent compared to the pre-crisis level, which could have resulted in additional savings of up to 700 billion forints (€1.97 billion) in 2020.
We are working to give Hungarian industrial capacities an even bigger role in meeting the soon-to-increase global demand. That is why when creating the economic protection action plan a year ago, we decided to allocate 1,000 billion forints in investment incentives in order to maintain the investment level, which helped to realize the investment exceeding 4 percent of the Hungarian GDP. Due to this, after Estonia and Ireland, the Hungarian investment rate is the third highest in 2020 (27.3 percent), which is almost 6-percentage points higher than the EU average.
So far, we have been working to keep businesses from delaying their capacity-building investments, and now we are working to keep the investment rate high. At the moment, more than 1,700 billion forints of industrial investment are in the pipeline, as many domestic and foreign companies operating in Hungary have announced new ones in the recent period.
Title image: Electronics parts manufacturing in Székesfehárvár, Hungary. (source: videoton.hu)