Hungary's sale of a eurobond last week was a sign of growing investor confidence in the government's policies, but it was an expensive debt issue and the country must focus on cutting its debt, Iryna Ivaschenko, the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) representative in Hungary, told Reuters.
“The success of the eurobond issuance clearly shows that markets appreciate the efforts that have been made by Hungary in terms of addressing its key vulnerability - the budgetary situation,” Ivaschenko said. Ivaschenko said Hungary's government showed it was committed to meeting the deficit targets agreed for this year and next. But as the government expects the 2009 deficit to overshoot the full-year target of 3.9% by the end of September, the IMF will look at steps the government will take to bring the budget back on track by the end of the year, she said.
When asked if the IMF's previous forecast for a 6.7% contraction in the economy this year was realistic, Ivaschenko said: “It can be worse, not significantly but somewhat. Consumption has been weaker and also the euro area growth, especially Germany ... the outlook is still rather pessimistic.” (Reuters)