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Economic Growth to 'Restart' in 2024 - Orbán

Government

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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said inflation would fall into the single digits in November or December and augured the "restart" of economic growth in 2024 in a weekly interview broadcast on public radio on Friday.

Orbán noted that the government had taken over the "task and responsibility" of fighting inflation from the National Bank of Hungary (MNB), as the central bank's "bucket" was insufficient for the "floodwater of international inflation", and said there were no factors that would prevent CPI from falling under 10% by year-end.

He also acknowledged the challenge of trying to fight inflation while also maintaining economic growth. 

"We had a bigger ambition that we weren't able to achieve. While we fought against inflation, we wanted to keep economic growth at a relatively high level, and it didn't happen. It turns out that either we make fighting inflation the priority or economic growth, both together won't work," he said.

"That's why we've been forced to change our strategy and we've decided that 2023 is the year of thrashing inflation, even if the results are loss-making on the economic growth side....In 2024 we'll restart economic growth. The two couldn't be done together, we had to put our tasks in order," he added.

Commenting on the outlook for the German economy, Orbán said Hungary's export-oriented economy couldn't "stand on just one leg" and needed to "remain open to all of the world's markets".

In the global debate on whether to divide the global economy into blocs, in the East and the West, or to "follow the logic of connectivity", the interest of the Hungarian economy is "clearly served" by the latter, he said.

"That's why I'm going on a longer trip to China next week involving a number of negotiations," he added.

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