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MNB forecasts 0.9% GDP growth, 4.9% CPI for 2010

The National Bank of Hungary (MNB) forecasts Hungary's GDP will rise 0.9% in 2010 and it puts average annual inflation for the year at 4.9%, the bank said on Monday, citing figures from its fresh quarterly Inflation Report to be published in full on Wednesday.

The MNB raised its 2010 average inflation projection from 4.4% in its previous Inflation Report published in February. It now expects inflation to drop below the 3% midterm target only from around Q2 2011 rather than Q4 2010 as projected in the previous report.

Hungary's CPI averaged 5.9% in January-April, the latest data from the Central Statistical Office (KSH) show.

The MNB's fresh GDP forecast was a big improvement over a 0.2% contraction projected in February.

Hungary's economy grew an unadjusted 0.1% in Q1 from the same period a year earlier and expanded 0.9% in a quarter-on-quarter comparison.

On Friday, outgoing Finance Minister Péter Oszkó said Hungary's GDP could grow 0.5% in 2010.

The MNB lowered its projection for GDP growth in 2011 to 3.2% from 3.4%, and it raised its forecast for annual average inflation to 3.0% from 2.3%.

The bank published forecasts for 2012 for the first time on Monday. It sees GDP growth picking up to 3.9% and average annual inflation slowing to 2.9%. (MTI – Econews)