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    Hungary Economy - 1990

      Overview: Hungary's postwar Communist government spurred the movement from a predominantly agricultural to an industrialized economy. The share of the labor force in agriculture dropped from over 50% in 1950 to under 20% in 1989. Agriculture nevertheless remains an important sector, providing sizable export earnings and meeting domestic food needs. Industry accounts for about 40% of GNP and 30% of employment. Nearly three-fourths of foreign trade is with the USSR and Eastern Europe. Low rates of growth reflect the inability of the Soviet-style economy to modernize capital plant and motivate workers. GNP grew about 1% in 1988 and declined by 1% in 1989. Since 1985 external debt has more than doubled, to nearly $20 billion. In recent years Hungary has moved further than any other East European country in experimenting with decentralized and market-oriented enterprises. These experiments have

      failed to jump-start the economy because of: limitations on funds for privatization; continued subsidization of insolvent state enterprises; and the leadership's reluctance to implement sweeping market reforms that would cause additional social dislocations in the short term.

      GNP: $64.6 billion, per capita $6,108; real growth rate - 1.3% (1989 est.)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 18% (1989 est.)

      Unemployment rate: 0.4% (1989)

      Budget: revenues $14.0 billion; expenditures $14.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $944 million (1988)

      Exports: $19.1 billion (f.o.b. 1988); commodities--capital goods 36%, foods 24%, consumer goods 18%, fuels and minerals 11%, other 11%; partners USSR 48%, Eastern Europe 25%, developed countries 16%, less developed countries 8% (1987)

      Imports: $18.3 billion (c.i.f., 1988); commodities--machinery and transport 28%, fuels 20%, chemical products 14%, manufactured consumer goods 16%, agriculture 6%, other 16%; partners--USSR 43%, Eastern Europe 28%, less developed countries 23%, US 3% (1987)

      External debt: $19.6 billion (1989)

      Industrial production: growth rate 0.6% (1988)

      Electricity: 7,250,000 kW capacity; 30,300 million kWh produced, 2,870 kWh per capita (1989)

      Industries: mining, metallurgy, engineering industries, processed foods, textiles, chemicals (especially pharmaceuticals)

      Agriculture: including forestry, accounts for about 15% of GNP and 19% of employment; highly diversified crop-livestock farming; principal crops--wheat, corn, sunflowers, potatoes, sugar beets; livestock--hogs, cattle, poultry, dairy products; self-sufficient in food output

      Aid: donor--$1.8 billion in bilateral aid to non-Communist less developed countries (1962-88)

      Currency: forint (plural--forints); 1 forint (Ft) = 100 filler

      Exchange rates: forints (Ft) per US$1--62.5 (January 1990), 59.2 (1989), 50.413 (1988), 46.971 (1987), 45.832 (1986), 50.119 (1985)

      Fiscal year: calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Hungary on this page is re-published from the 1990 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Hungary Economy 1990 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Hungary Economy 1990 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 07-Feb-03
    Copyright © 2003 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)