Conference on the current situation of the economy and the challenges of the future

The Károly Ihrig Doctoral School of Management and Business of the University of Debrecen has held an international conference of PhD students, sponsored by the university’s Faculty of Economics and Hungary’s Central Bank. Hungarian and foreign students delivered presentations in ten sessions. Gergely Baksay, Managing Director responsible for economic and budget analysis of the Central Bank gave a plenary presentation. The programme included a round table discussion too.

Péter Balogh, Head of the Károly Ihrig Doctoral School of Management and Business said in his opening speech that their doctoral school is the second biggest in the country, with students coming from various parts of the world, dealing with today’s most important economic issues.

- Behind the presentations of the PhD students, there are successful, fruitful research activities and highly rated publications. The key to all these is the students’ talent, commitment, in addition to the high quality of their education – the head of the doctoral school said.
In his presentation, Gergely Baksay sought answer to the question where the world is heading. He examined extensively the current economic developments of the world and Hungary, and also gave sound guidance on what needs to be done in order to achieve sustainable economic growth in our country and in countries in a similar situation. He also discussed the tendencies of the gross domestic product and the inflation.

- In the past few years, there was an inflation wave the world had not seen since the 1970s. Two years ago, the annual inflation rate was over 10 percent in more than 70 countries, something we had not witnessed in the previous decades. Currently, the inflation wave is waning, but the example of the 1970s shows that inflation is a stubborn phenomenon, and its return must be prevented in any case. Inflation has a long shadow that casts over the entire economy. The price rise reduced real incomes, thus consumption too, and this, with the decreasing demand, hindered production, investments and, ultimately, economic growth, and consumer confidence also decreased – Gergely Baksay explained.

He also discussed the so-called megatrends that shape the future of the society and the economy in the next years and decades. Among them, he emphasized the significance of high debts, digitalization, aging, and green transition.

- To ensure Hungary’s success in the new megatrends, the growth model needs to be renewed. Instead of an extensive-based growth, an intensive growth is needed. The managing director said that Hungary has an exceptionally open economy, but the domestic added value of exports is low compared to other EU member states, which means that the exports have a limited contribution to the GDP. An increase in the domestic added value of exports would lead to higher incomes and higher standard of living in Hungary. The good news is that several companies have proven to have the ability to achieve this. In its research, the central bank has found as many as 1100 innovative, rapidly growing companies in Hungary, Gergely Baksay said in closing.
Spectators of the round table discussion heard an exhaustive assessment of the current situation of the economy with Gergely Baksay, Professor Róbert Magda from John von Neumann University, and Professor András Nábrádi and Vice Dean László Erdey from Debrecen University’s Faculty of Economics.

Róbert Magda emphasized the problems of population growth and inflation, András Nábrádi discussed the questions of artificial intelligence and political polarization. László Erdey underlined that hyper-globalization appears to end, which is related to significant world economy risks, military and other violent conflicts. Political threats can further increase, as this year approximately one billion people will attend ballots in parliamentary, local government and presidential elections.
The participants of the round table reacted to the freshly published GDP data of the Central Statistical Office which included that Hungary’s economy dropped 0.8 percent in 2023. The next topic was the risks concerning the stability of the monetary system. The managing director from the Hungarian Central Bank pointed out that despite the crises of the 2020’s decade, the Hungarian monetary system shows a high degree of stability.

The round table discussion was followed by the conference sessions. At the end of each session, the commission chose the best performers who were then awarded with a certificate. At the sessions, Hungarian and foreign PhD students had the possibility to present the current standing of their research in front of a commission of professionals and to obtain guidance. The students of the Doctoral School deal with topics in various fields, such as agricultural economics, methodology, rural development, business economics, tourism and hospitality, international business, management and business, network research, commerce and marketing, sports economics, and finance and accounting.

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