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2004 statistics summary published

2004 saw a slight increase in births and fewer deaths than 2003, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) reported in its summary of the year. Due to the improved ratio of births and deaths, population loss continued at a slower rate than in the previous year. It was also alleviated by immigration, practically unchanged from 2003. The population of the country stood at 10.96 million at the end of the year, 21,000 less than a year earlier. In the twelve months to December 2004, the national economy grew more dynamically than before, GDP increased by 4%, employment was practically unchanged from the previous year and growth was driven by improved productivity. FDI grew at a faster rate than in 2003, while the growth rate of household consumption decelerated. Real wages dropped 1% on 2003. Hungary?s foreign trade deficit decreased both in absolute terms and in proportion to GDP. The budget deficit as a percentage of the country?s gross domestic product, calculated in line with EU-approved statistical methods, was more than 1 percentage point lower than in the previous year.