Hungarian Prime Minister Orban asks Finance Minister and Bank Governor to halve inflation by end of 2023

BUDAPEST, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday he had asked the finance minister and central bank governor to at least halve the inflation rate by the end of the year next.

“I have respectfully asked the central bank governor and asked the finance minister to at least halve this inflation by the end of next year,” Orban told state radio, adding that he expected to see single-digit inflation by the end of 2023. .

Orban gave no further details, but said tackling inflation was paramount.

Hungary’s central bank faces one of the biggest challenges among central European policymakers in reining in inflation after announcing last month that it would end its cycle of steep rate hikes at a level of 13%.

Inflation jumped to 20.1% in September from 15.6% in August. Core inflation exceeded expectations at 20.7%.

Since September’s rate meeting, the forint has slid to record lows against the euro amid pressure from the strong dollar, Hungary’s dependence on Russian energy imports and a dispute over the rule of law with the European Union which has restricted access to billions of euros in funding.

The central bank will hold a monetary policy briefing at 06:30 GMT on Friday.

Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by Alex Richardson

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Laura T. Thrasher