Economy Minister Puts 2024 GDP Growth at 2-3%

Analysis

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National Economy Minister Márton Nagy said the government expected GDP growth to reach 2-3% this year, presenting a strategy to boost the country's competitiveness on Monday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Nagy said Hungary wouldn't achieve 4% GDP growth this year because of a temporary weakening on its export markets. The 4pc growth rate is achievable from 2025 and can be sustained in the long term, he added.

The competitiveness strategy was drafted based on feedback from close to 1,300 businesses, he said. The economy needs "fine-tuning" not a "turnaround", he added.

He said the government aimed to raise Hungary's level of development to 90pc of the European Union average by 2030, but that would require the employment rate to rise to 85% and the investment rate to reach 30%, including a corporate investment rate of 20%.

Hungary's exports of goods need to climb to 100% of GDP as the share of the manufacturing sector reaches 30%, he added.

Among the most important goals, Nagy put a highly-trained labor force, support for training and mobility, a steady rise of real wages, a reduction in income disparities, incentives for improved efficiency and competitiveness among businesses, and subsidized lending and capital programs.

The competitiveness strategy aims to develop the local network of suppliers, support R&D&I, and strengthen Hungarian-owned industrial businesses with the aim of producing "Hungarian champions", he added.

He said electromobility and artificial intelligence would be in the focus in terms of strengthening competitiveness.

State secretary for Industrial Policy and Technology Gergely Fábián said the competitiveness strategy designated the automotive, food, healthcare, chemicals, steel and plastics industries, as well as ICT and the creative industry as priority sectors. He also stressed the importance of adopting new technologies and making the green transition.

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