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The Hungarian forint was little changed on Friday’s session

The Hungarian forint was little changed on Friday’s session

12.6.2006 10:34

The Hungarian forint was little changed on Friday’s session as markets switched to wait-and-see stance before release of long –awaited government fiscal measures. During weak trading the forint firmed slightly in the morning and in the afternoon retreated back to levels around EUR/HUF 264.2. Today the forint will be influenced mainly by Saturday’s announcement of details of fiscal adjustment package. Prime Minister Gyurcsany confirmed on Saturday magnitude of measures, 350 bn. HUF this year and 1000 bn. HUF in both 2007 and 2008, and specified concrete measures. Principal measures are on revenue side including implementation of solidarity tax for individuals as well as for business, retention of special banking tax, increasing of middle rate value added tax, excise tax, personal income tax, simple entrepreneurial tax and vehicle tax. On the expenditure side the measures ale less convincing. Gyurcsany rejected suggestion made by IMF to cut social spending like pensions and family aid. Prime Minister confirmed the determination to cut ministries staff and gradual rise of security contributions.

Among spending cuts the government will lower energy price subsidies through rise in energy price rise and almost 100% gas price hike by 2007. With regard to fact that the tax increases will most probably lower the economic growth and thus the fulfillment of deficit target 3% of GDP in 2008 could be jeopardized we expect the reaction on fiscal measures to be rather negative. Some negative impact can have statement of Prime Minister who basically confessed that Hungary would not have to join Euro before 2011.

(CSOB - Investment research)

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