Emerging markets and interest rates, Economist, Aug 3rd 2006
As investors become pickier, keen to distinguish one emerging market from another, they may begin to see Hungary in the same light as Turkey and South Africa. It too runs a big current-account deficit, which the IMF thinks will exceed 9% of GDP this year. Indeed, on fiscal matters, the comparison is rather to Hungary's disadvantage. Turkey may labour under heavy public debts, but it is at least running a heroic budget surplus, before interest payments, estimated at 6.4% of GDP. South Africa now runs a modest fiscal deficit, but its stock of debt is quite manageable. Hungary, on the other hand, has both high debts (almost 60% of GDP in 2005) and a wide budget deficit. Nouriel Roubini, of Roubini Global Economics, calls it an “accident waiting to happen”.
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