Hungary’s GDP rose by an annual 4.5% in the fourth quarter of 2019, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said in a first reading of data.
Growth slowed from 5.0% in Q3. GDP growth was exceptionally strong in the first quarter, reaching 5.3% before slowing to 4.9% in Q2. Full-year GDP growth reached 4.9% in 2019. In 2018, full-year growth was 5.1%, up from a 4.3% growth rate in 2017. Adjusted for seasonal and calendar year effects, Q4 GDP growth was 4.6%. The seasonally and calendar year-adjusted annual growth rate was 4.9% in 2019, down from 5.1% in 2018 but up from 4.5% in 2017.
Analysts polled by MTI said the Q4 figure came as a positive surprise, adding that they expected the moderate slowdown to continue this year.
Commenting on the data, Finance Minister Mihály Varga said Hungary’s economic growth rate again exceeded the European Union average. Concerning 2020, he said the biggest challenges would come in the form of external uncertainty such as deteriorating trends in Germany’s automotive sector or the economic impact of the coronavirus. The ministry, with these risks in mind, has lowered its projection for GDP growth this year to 3.5% from an earlier 4%, he said.