The IMF said on Wednesday that Hungary’s economic growth would slow this year, adding that it was concerned about domestic policies. It forecast growth this year at 0.3 percent but predicted a pick-up in 2013. It said the budget deficit was likely to be 3.9 percent of gross domestic product this year and as high as 4.1 percent in 2013.
Peter Szijjarto said “our numbers show something totally different,” adding that the European Commission had acknowledged that the budget deficit would come in at below 3 percent of GDP.
He said Hungary’s economic policy had been successful.
“The government’s economic policy up to now, and the minister who implemented it, have been exceptionally successful,” he said, referring to Gyorgy Matolcsy, the economy minister.
Commenting on the government’s “unorthodox” economic policies, he said Matolcsy had “come under personal attack” but he was in fact “such a successful economy minister that he had succeeded in implementing exceptional economic measures amid impossible circumstances …”
“The exceptional economic measures were needed in an exceptional period,” he said.
“We think that the European economy will soon recover from the crisis and the euro crisis will come to an end …” he added.
Szijjarto said that on important and substantive issues — such as maintaining a transparent and predictable economic policy — the government and IMF saw eye-to-eye.