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  • 1 National Bank of Hungary 1850 Budapest, Szabadság tér 8/9, Hungary
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The article focuses on the relationship between economic growth and financial intermediation, with special focus on the process of catching up in three Central and Eastern European economies: Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland (CEC-3). The depth of financial intermediation and economic growth exhibit a close, direct relationship with each other. According to recent studies the relationship is causal and the level of financial development is a good indicator of future economic growth. Examining the relationship between the two factors is especially important for these Central and Eastern European economies, where the level of financial intermediation is very low compared to that of developed countries. The lack of financial deepening is even more pronounced taking into consideration that there is a significant catching-up process in every other areas of the economy. The initial proposition here is that in order to these countries catching up, their economic growth must necessarily be accompanied by a marked financial deepening, without which long-term economic growth is impossible. It is absolutely necessary that in the future the role of bank loans in these economies increases significantly and that a period characterised by a lending boom follows. The lending boom should occur in CEC-3 is not an unequivocal sign of imprudent lending or a supply-side expansion of bank loans - on the contrary, it should be viewed as complementary to the economic development at the given economic stage.

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