Hungary stuck at 47th on IMD World Competitiveness Rankings


Lukas Hartmann /

Similarly to last year, Hungary places 47th on this yearʼs IMD World Competitiveness Rankings, scoring high in aspects such as prices and international trade, while performing poorly in categories such as its labor market, as well as in attitudes and values categories. 

Photo: Lukas Hartmann /

Since 2015, Hungary has been hovering between 52nd and 46th place on the list, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal. Last year, the country moved up five places to the 47th spot it now still occupies in 2019.

The challenges Hungary faces in 2019 listed in the report include uncertainties over the sustainability of its high growth rate; uncertainties over autocratic and anti-democratic governance; high dependence on EU funds; ongoing labor shortages; and increasing regional disparities partly due to exporting of talents.

The country ranks well in several categories: 12th in international trade, 14th in prices, 23rd in domestic economy, and 32nd in basic infrastructure.

On the other hand, Hungary ranks only 63th in international investment, 59th for its labor market, and 57th in attitudes and values.

The top three spots on the list of 63 countries in 2019 are taken by Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United States, respectively.

Regionally, Hungary is beaten by Austria (19th), Lithuania (29th), the Czech Republic (33rd), Estonia (35th), Slovenia (37th), Poland (38th), Latvia (40th), and Russia (45th). Hungary finishes just ahead of Bulgaria (48th) and Romania (49th), as well as Slovakia (53rd), Ukraine (54th), and Croatia (60th).

The IMD World Competitiveness Rankings, established in 1989, incorporate 235 indicators from each of the 63 ranked economies. according to an IMD press release. The ranking takes into account a wide range of “hard” statistics such as unemployment, GDP and government spending on health and education, as well as “soft” data from an Executive Opinion Survey covering topics such as social cohesion, globalization and corruption. This information feeds into four categories – economic performance, infrastructure, government efficiency, and business efficiency – to give a final score for each country. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for competitiveness, but the best-performing countries tend to score well across all four categories, notes the press release.

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