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Updated convergence program foresees slower pace for drop of fiscal deficit, debt

The government's updated convergence program forecast Hungary' general government deficit and state debt to stay below the respective criteria throughout 2016, but their gradual drop in terms of GDP will be slower than forecast previously as lowered primary surpluses will only partially offset by lower interest expenditure. The annual average inflation projection for 2013 was scaled sharply down from 5.2%, the rate at which the 2013 budget was calculated to 3.1%, and was upped slightly, to 3.2%, for 2014. The new average CPI projections still remained well below the National Bank of Hungary's latest projections. In its March Inflation report the MNB projected inflation to average 2.6% this year and 2.8% in 2014.