Recently Orban won another election in Hungary. The majority of the people voted to keep him in power. Despite frequent negative articles about him in the Western media, Orban remains. As with any politician, he has plenty of vocal opponents, but the elections speak for themselves. I don’t want to say he is great or he is evil, but we should give credit where credit is due. In this case, Hungary deserves some credit. Whether or not this is thanks to Orban I can’t say, but economic successes are usually attributed to the ruling party.
What is the success? The projection is that Hungary’s real wages will grow more than anywhere else in the world.
Projected Real Wage Growth
Hungary’s real wages are projected to grow by 4.9% in 2018. Note that real wages is different from nominal wage, in the sense that it is already corrected for inflation. This is the type of economic growth that directly benefits the population. After all, who cares about GDP growth if your own wage does not increase? Who cares if GDP grows, purely due to population growth? And who cares if GDP grows, with all the profits going to those that own capital?
Growth in real wages is something for the Hungarians to look forward to. Most countries that adopted the Euro however, appear to be hovering around a mere 1% of growth.
At the bottom of the list is the United Kingdom, with a real wage decrease of -0.7%. Whether this is due to Brexit, or due to high immigration is difficult to say. The closest behind Hungary are Latvia, Poland, Czech and Slovenia. All with real wage growth of over 3%. A wonderful success for the European Union, as we see the previously communistic bloc catching up to the west.
Keep in mind that these countries have a long way to go, before their wages come anywhere near of those in Germany. They will need many more years of growth in real wages. Then again, life is still a bit cheaper in those places, and everyone will see their living standards increase alongside their wages.