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Hungary slips to 60th place in global competitiveness ranking

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Hungary slipped to 60th place in a ranking of 144 countries based on competitiveness compiled by the World Economic Forum and published Wednesday.

Hungary was ranked 48th of 142 countries on the World Economic Forum's 2011-2012 Global Competitiveness Index ranking. It ranked 52nd of 139 countries on the 2010-2011 list.

Hungary's overall score edged down to 4.3 -- on a scale of 1-7 -- in the fresh ranking from 4.4 in 2011-2012. It got a 5.2 score for macroeconomic environment and a 5.9 score for health and primary education, but scored 3.7 for business sophistication and 3.6 for innovation.

At the top of a list of the most problematic factors for doing business in Hungary was "policy instability", followed by "access to financing", "tax rates", "tax regulations" and "inefficient government bureaucracy", the World Economic Forum said based on a survey.

Hungary was preceded on the ranking by the Czech Republic, in 39th place, and Poland, in 41st, but was ahead of Slovakia, in 71st place.

In a statement published on its website late in the morning, the National Economy Ministry said the change in Hungary's position in the ranking showed that the last two years of financial consolidation had come with sacrifices but the consolidation was a success.

"The most important aim of Hungarian economic policy in the past two years has been the cessation and reversal of the unsustainable financial and macroeconomic processes inherited in 2010," the ministry said. "The Hungarian general government has been consolidated even among the worsening waves of the European debt crisis since then," it added.

The ministry said the fact that Hungary's ranking in terms of macroeconomic environment had improved on the fresh list from 67th to 44th was a sign of the government's successful economic policy.

"The improvement of the general government balance, increased savings and falling inflation played a decisive role in the improvement," it added.

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