The global economic situation remains subject to considerable uncertainties. The geopolitical tensions that are holding back growth are not abating. The Russian-Ukrainian conflict that started last year is continuing: fears that the war could drag on for years are increasingly being confirmed. After global growth of 3.3% last year, some slowdown is expected this year, contrary to earlier hopes. In this respect, the OECD’s June forecast calls for global growth of 2.7% this year and 2.9% next year. The IMF’s latest forecast is more optimistic, predicting growth of around 3% for both 2023 and 2024.
Although inflation rates have started to fall across the board, core inflation remains high and even rising in several countries, creating uncertainty about when and to what extent the growth-constraining effect of monetary policy will be eased. In most countries, the priority remains to foster disinflation and preserve financial stability.
Brent crude oil prices have averaged around USD 80 per barrel per year, but have been on an upward trend since the end of July this year. The IEA expects global oil demand to rise to 102.2 million barrels per day this year, 2.2 million barrels per day more than last year.
The slowdown in growth is not expected to have a significant impact on the labour market for the time being, with unemployment expected to remain around 6% and labour market tensions in some sectors remaining.
After two years of ultra-loose central bank policies and fiscal expansion during the pandemic, the economic policy mix in the European Union has changed direction from 2022.
Both monetary and fiscal policies are cooling the European economy. In 2024, the generalised escape clause suspending the requirements of the Stability and Growth Pact will expire, which the European Commission intends to combine with a reform of the fiscal rulebook. The new framework would be based on the medium-term budgetary-structural plans of Member States, through a multi-annual anchoring of net primary expenditure paths. In 2022, the Hungarian economy suffered a significant exchange rate loss due to a sharp rise in the price of imported energy commodities, and therefore exchange rate adjusted GDP, real gross domestic income (RGDI), fell for the year as a whole, while GDP rose significantly. In the first half of 2023, the economy will have to bear the consequences of the fact that in the same period of the previous year, for political reasons, domestic demand was prevented from adjusting to adverse changes in the external price ratio.