Varga, analysts: 2013 GDP growth could reach 1%

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Hungary’s economy could grow by 1% this year, analysts told MTI on Thursday, after the Central Statistics Office (KSH) published better-than-expected Q3 GDP data. 

András Balatoni, chief analyst at ING Bank, said full-year GDP growth was likely to be around 1% and put Q4 growth close to 2%, in part because of the low base. Improvement on external markets is lifting exports and the National Bank of Hungary’s Funding for Growth scheme should loosen lending conditions and support investments that businesses have been putting off, he said.

Gergely Suppan of Takarékbank said Q4 GDP growth could reach 2.5% and also put full-year growth around 1%. He said the higher-than-expected Q3 growth was probably the result of investments, exports, a small increase in household consumption and higher inventories resulting from the better harvest.

Growth is likely to be sustained on higher external demand, pay raises for teachers and healthcare workers, as well as low consumer price inflation, accelerated European Union payouts on developments, and Funding for Growth, he added.

National Economy Minister Mihály Varga later also told local media that the 1% figure was possible.

Hungary’s Q3 GDP was up 1.7% year-on-year and rose 0.8% from the previous quarter.

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