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Inflation could peak earlier than expected - FinMin official

Inflation could peak earlier than planned, and could be less than projected next year, considering September's higher-than-expected CPI, undersecretary at the Finance Ministry Tamás Katona said on Wednesday, speaking at a meeting of the National Association of Employers and Industrialists (MGYOSZ). Average annual inflation could reach 3.9% in 2006, compared to the government's projection of 3.5%, while average annual inflation in 2007 could be around 6%, well under the 6.8% projection, he said. Katona also said that the government's target for 2.2% GDP growth in 2007 is a conservative one, under analysts' forecasts. Katona told the meeting that real wages must not rise for the next two years. Katona said total tax revenue would account for 38% of GDP in 2007, up from 36.4% in 2006, because of additional taxes worth Ft 400 billionn - 450 billion. He noted that this level was even higher in 2000, at 38.4%, and added that it would fall to 37.5% in 2009. (Mti-Eco)