Country Information


The Hungarian forint, often denoted HUF and abbreviated Ft., is the official currency of Hungary. The forint was introduced on August 1, 1946 after the currency pengõ experienced a period of great hyperinflation in the year before. Until recently, the forint was comprised of 100 fillér, but circulation of the fillér ceased in 1999. The name of the forint ironically comes from Florence, where golden money was minted from 1252. Since 1995, Hungary has pegged the forint against a basket of currencies (in which the US dollar is 30%).

Travel Notes:

When traveling to Hungary, one may face several currency import and export restrictions:

For import and export, local currency exceeding 350,000     Forint requires permission from the National Bank. For export, amounts equivalent to 100,000 Forint require     permission from the National Bank. All foreign currency must be declared for import.

Moody's Rating

Baa1, 31 Mar 2009

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Political Structure

The President of the Republic is elected by the Hungarian parliament every five years. While the President has a largely ceremonial role, he is also responsible for appointing the prime minister. The prime minister selects cabinet ministers and is the sole holder of the right to dismiss them. Each cabinet nominee appears before at least one parliamentary committee in consultative open hearings, awaiting approval from the President. Hungary's National Assembly is unicameral and consists of 386 members. The highest organ of state authority, the National Assembly initiates and approves legislation sponsored by the prime minister. National parliamentary elections are held every four years. A 15-member Constitutional Court has power to challenge legislation on grounds of unconstitutionality.

Prominent Figures

Chief of State President Laszlo SOLYOM (since 5 August 2005) 
Head of Government Prime Minister Gordon BAJNAI (since 20 April 2009) 
Cabinet Council of Ministers prime minister elected by the National Assembly on the recommendation of the president; other ministers proposed by the prime minister and appointed and relieved of their duties by the president 
Elections president elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 6-7 June 2005 (next to be held by June 2010); prime minister elected by the National Assembly on the recommendation of the president; election last held 14 April 2009 
Election Results Laszlo SOLYOM elected president by a simple majority in the third round of voting, 185 to 182; Gordon BAJNAI elected prime minister; result of legislative vote - 204 to 0 note: to be elected, the president must win two-thirds of legislative vote in the first two rounds or a simple majority in the third round

Key Economic Factors

Consumer Price Index:

The CPI is an instrument used for measuring inflation and gauging movements in prices of products on a constant-quality basis. It measures the change in prices for a given basket of goods and services bought by Hungary residents. Due to improvements in net exports and lowering consumer demand, the structure of growth in Hungary has tended to be anti-inflationary.

Gross Domestic Product:

The Gross Domestic Product measures the total production and consumption of goods and services in Hungary. It is important to look for the growth of consumption, investment and government spending components. Hungary's net exports are also very important because of its small, open economy.

Exchange Rates


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