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Veres to submit revised budget

Hungary’s revised 2009 budget is based on much more solid economic growth than previously expected, Finance Minister János Veres told journalists in Budapest. The government will submit the revised budget to Parliament on Saturday, Veres added.

Asked if the revised budget would contain changes to Hungary's social-welfare system, the finance minister said that it would correct pensions and raise family subsidies only from September 1, 2009, not the beginning of the year.

The budget bill targets a 2.9% deficit in terms of GDP next year and confirms a reduced new target of 3.4% for this year.

Though the government did its best to consider all possible consequences of the current global financial crisis, there still might be other ramifications that cannot be foreseen at present, mainly the effect on real economy, the finance minister said.

Hungary's main export markets face a slowing growth rate, while credit conditions are expected to become stricter. The new version of the bill calculates with 4.1% export growth instead of the 8% projected earlier. Investments are now seen to rise by only 4% as against a previous forecast of 6%.

Asked to comment on Fitch's Friday announcement that it revised Hungary's long-term outlook from stable to negative, Veres stressed that the credit-rating agency had not changed the Hungary's rating, just its outlook, adding that a country cannot influence the view of a ratings agency. (MTI – Econews)