Defeating inflation and staying on track to narrow the wealth gap with other European Union countries are priority tasks this year, Marton Nagy, the minister of economic development, told a conference on Wednesday, adding that Hungary had a good chance of receiving EU monies and cohesion funds by the summer.
Nagy emphasised that the government was working hard to reduce inflation to below 10 percent, and he also noted that the country’s growth rate exceeded the EU average.
He said inflation was starting to ease and the rate of the decline would pick up pace. Annual growth is expected above the EU average at around 1.5 percent, he said, though this required government subsidies for businesses, with almost 1,600 billion forints (EUR 4.2bn) available this year.
Nagy said sustaining the investment rate and employing 500,000 additional workers would be necessary.
Even last year was the toughest year since the turn of the millennium, the rate of development has been maintained, he said, adding that Hungary’s economy had survived the energy crisis without a fall in employment, while real wages increased.
In 2010, Hungary’s development level was 66 percent of the EU average, while this year it is approaching 80 percent, he said. By 2030, it could reach 90 percent, he added.