The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised its projection for Hungaryʼs GDP growth this year to 4.0% in its fresh World Economic Outlook published Tuesday, state news agency MTI reported. The projection was raised from 3.8% in the forecast released in April, but is still under the governmentʼs official target of 4.3%.
The IMF noted that estimates and projections in its latest World Economic Outlook were based on statistical information available until September 18, 2018. Two weeks after that date, Hungaryʼs Central Statistical Office (KSH) revised first-half GDP growth up 0.1 of a percentage point to 4.7%.
The IMF sees Hungaryʼs GDP growth slowing to 3.3% in 2019.
It projects average annual inflation to pick up to 2.8% in 2018, and to 3.3% in 2019, climbing over the 3.0% mid-term target of the National Bank of Hungary (MNB). At the same time, it sees the unemployment rate dropping to 3.9% in 2018, and to 3.5% in 2019.
The current account surplus is set to narrow to 2.3% of GDP in 2018, and to 2.1% in 2019, the IMF added.
In a statement issued after the forecast was released, the Ministry of Finance said the improved outlook is an "acknowledgement of the results of Hungaryʼs economic policy and the countryʼs growth potential." The ministry recalled that the IMF has revised its growth forecast for Hungary six times upwards in the past four years in its biannual World Economic Outlook reports.