EEMEA Market round-up: Hungary downgraded
Hungary’s fiscal weakness has rating agencies worried. Even before the mid-month downgrading of Hungary’s sovereign debt, Budapest’s equities markets began to adopt the same gloomy outlook as Standard & Poor’s. The government’s debt levels are on track to exceed 74% of GDP by 2009, up from 60% at current levels. High deficit spending is expected to fall just barely, overshadowing noble efforts on the part of Hungary’s socialist-liberal government to consolidate its finances. Central bankers notched up rates by 175 basis points to bolster the forint and stave off inflation risk. This, combined with a tax increase, could significantly hurt growth prospects.