Key Facts: Hungary

by World Grain Staff
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Capital: Budapest

Population: 9,992,339 (July 2010 est.)

Religions: Roman Catholic 51.9%, Calvinist 15.9%, Lutheran 3%, Greek Catholic 2.6%, other Christian 1%, other or unspecified 11.1%, unaffiliated 14.5% (2001 census).

Location: Central Europe, northwest of Romania.

Government: Parliamentary democracy; chief of state: President Pal Schmitt (since Aug. 6, 2010); head of government: Prime Minister Viktor Orban (since May 29, 2010).

Economy: Hungary has made the transition from a centrally planned to a market economy, with a per capita income nearly two-thirds that of the E.U.-25 average. The private sector accounts for more than 80% of GDP. Foreign ownership of and investment in Hungarian firms are widespread, with cumulative foreign direct investment worth more than $70 billion. The government’s austerity measures, imposed since late 2006, have reduced the budget deficit from over 9% of GDP in 2006 to 3.8% in 2010. Hungary’s impending inability to service its short-term debt — brought on by the global financial crisis in late 2008 — led Budapest to obtain an International Monetary Fund-arranged financial assistance package worth over $25 billion. The global economic downturn, declining exports, and low domestic consumption and fixed asset accumulation, dampened by government austerity measures, resulted in an economic contraction of 6.3% in 2009. The economy rebounded in 2010 with a big boost from exports, and growth of more than 2.5% is expected in 2011. Unemployment remained high at more than 11%.

GDP per capita: $19,000 (2010 est.); inflation: 0.3% (2009 est.); unemployment 8.3% (2009 est.).

Currency: Forints (HUF): 202.03 Forints equal 1 U.S. dollar (Jan. 21, 2011).

Exports: $93.74 billion (2010 est.): machinery and equipment 61.1%, other manufactures 28.7%, food products 6.5%, raw materials 2%, fuels and electricity 1.6% (2009 est.).

Imports: $87.44 billion (2010 est.): machinery and equipment 50%, fuels and electricity 11%, food products, raw materials.

Major crops/agricultural products: Wheat, corn, sunflower seed, potatoes, sugar beets; pigs, cattle, poultry, dairy products.

Agriculture: 2.8% of GDP and 4.5% of the labor force

Internet: Code. .hu; 2.655 million (2010) hosts and 6.176 million (2009) users.

Source: CIA World Factbook