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News in Brief

Government congratulates Donald Trump

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and several senior ministers issued statements congratulating Donald Trump, who will become the 45th president of the United States of America, following a “historic” election resulting in Trump’s victory, according to reports. Posting a message on his official Facebook page, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán wrote: “Congratulations. What a great news. Democracy is still alive.” During what many saw as a controversial Trump campaign, Orbán was one of the few leaders worldwide

to praise some elements of Trump’s campaign. Orbán was reported as saying that “Trump’s foreign policy would be the best for us […] Trump defends the monitoring of migrants. He also opposes democracy building in other countries, and I agree with him on this.” Although Orbán has insisted he never endorsed Trump, he did agree with his position on the matter of migration. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó also expressed his appreciation of the U.S. election results, shortly after their announcement. “The Hungarian government congratulates Donald Trump on his presidential election victory. Hungary is ready for cooperation,” the minister said. The minister added that Americans have made a decision, and democracy has been strengthened in an extraordinary election campaign. He added that the world economy and global politics have entered a new era, posing historical challenges for the whole world, the tackling of which will require a new and courageous approach, and new and innovative politics, according to a report by Hungarian news portal origo.hu. Hungary’s Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga also congratulated Trump. According to Varga, it has been proven that democracy works in America, origo.hu reported. Varga said he expects a new era to begin in Hungarian-American relations.

Trade surplus over EUR 1 bln in September

Hungary’s trade surplus reached EUR 1.04 billion in September, up EUR 175 million compared to the same month a year earlier, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on November 9 in a first release of data. In EUR terms, exports increased by 1.9% and imports decreased by 0.2% during September, compared to the same month of 2015, KSH data shows. The value of exports amounted to EUR 8.4 bln, and that of imports to EUR 7.4 bln. The share of European Union member states was 79% both in exports and imports, the KSH reported. In the January-September period of the year, the value of exports was EUR 69.4 bln, while that of imports equaled EUR 61.7 bln, giving a trade surplus of EUR 7.7 bln in the period, the KSH said. Compared to the same ninth months a year earlier, exports and imports were up by 2.9% and 1.2% respectively in EUR terms, with the trade surplus growing by EUR 1.22 bln, the KSH added.

October’s 1% inflation a 3-year high

Hungary’s October inflation figure of 1%, announced on November 8 by the Central Statistical Office (KSH), was higher than the market consensus of approximately 0.8%, reaching a peak not seen in three years, CIB Bank noted in a flash report sent to the Budapest Business Journal. Reaching a three-year peak, Hungary’s inflation was 1% in October compared to the same month of 2015. “Fuel prices supported the rise as a two-year trend has been clearly broken – with a 1.6% rise y.o.y. and 3.9% m.o.m.,” the CIB flash adds. Food prices also moved higher in October, while the rise in clothing prices was above average due to the usual seasonal factors, CIB Bank states. While the pickup in inflation may also reflect stronger domestic demand, this was not reflected in the month-on-month shift in service prices, nor in the prices of durable goods in October, the report adds. Core inflation came close to the expected average for this year, at 1.4% in October, compared to the corresponding month a year earlier, CIB observes. “Though inflation is still far away from the central bank’s target of 3% and may be considered low in absolute terms, the upward trend has become clear,” the CIB analysis says. “Inflation was 1.4% y.o.y. in September 2013 and this October’s figure is the first to touch 1% since then. Nevertheless, according to our calculations, annual average CPI may be close to 0.5%, i.e. the October figure does not alter this year’s outlook. Also, we do not expect any shift in the monetary policy outlook.”

Christian Keszthelyi