April convergence programme to contain new macro path, says govt official
The convergence programme the government will submit to the European Commission in April will contain a new macroeconomic course, based on the latest information, National Economy Ministry deputy state secretary Péter Benő Banai said. Some of the government's macroeconomic projections have come under pressure lately as independent analyses suggest they may be overly optimistic. The government projects GDP growth will reach 0.9% this year, while the EC said the economy is likely to contract by 0.1%. Asked whether the deteriorating macroeconomic outlook would prevent state debt from falling, as required in the Stability Act, Banai said Hungary's state debt is influenced by other factors in addition to the macroeconomic circumstances. He added that, if it is decided state debt is not expected to fall, based on a mid-year review, it is the responsibility of the government to initiate changes to the budget act. Banai said it is still too early to assess revenue from the financial transactions duty, which was introduced at the start of 2013. The ministry's fresh report on the general government balance shows revenue from the tax reached HUF 13.4 billion in February, or just 4.5% of the annual target.
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