Indeed, Hungary's economy came out of recession last year, and the rating agency Standard & Poor's, which upgraded Hungary's outlook to stable last month, also raised its output growth forecast to an annual average of 1.8 percent through 2016.
Still, Hungary has its challenges, like many other European Union members. Output is still below its 2008 peak and the country is suffering from the low inflation rates that are hampering growth across much of Europe. It has the highest amount of debt in Eastern Europe.
And steps forward often come with an asterisk. Unemployment, at 8.6 percent, is below the euro zone average, but Hungary has lifted its numbers by counting temporary workers employed at below minimum wage, and by counting Hungarians living abroad. More than half of the people added to the employment rolls since 2010 fall into these categories, the government said.
Gergely Tardos, an analyst at OTP Bank, Hungary's largest bank, said Mr. Matolcsy's "governorship is seen as controversial," but said it would take years to judge him as a central banker. Critics, he said, have said Mr. Matolcsy "does not embody the archetype of an independent and conservative central banker."
"However, until now his critics' fears have not come true and neither have the risks" attached to many of his policies, he added.
As economics minister, his policies tended to favor the wealthy. Fidesz introduced a flat tax, did away with income tax credits for the poor and increased consumption taxes.
Zoltan Csefalvay, a senior official in the economics ministry, defended the state's approach.
"Our policy is not to punish those who are working hard," he said. "From the first forint you earn you have to pay 16 percent. In Hungary it's important that everybody should pay."
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Others see it differently.
Andrea Gal, who lives in a woodland homeless encampment in a less august part of Budapest, said the government's new flat tax meant that her boyfriend, who does temporary work for the state, has to pay thousands of forints every month to the government, leaving them with only 50,000 forints a month, or about $221, to live on, along with whatever she can earn from collecting old beer cans.
"That's enough for nothing," she said.
She was sitting on her bed in a shack filled with smoke from a makeshift barrel stove; a handgun hung on a wall behind her, testifying to the danger of such a life. Trash was strewn in the woods all around, while her three dogs, Linda, Futyi and Kocos, napped after barking vigorously at a group of visitors.
Data from Tarki, a Hungarian research and polling firm, shows that income inequality has risen since Fidesz came to power, after decreasing over the previous decade. But it is unclear how much is attributable to the financial crisis and how much to government policies like those instituted by Mr. Matolcsy.
"We do have a hypothesis that the changes in the personal income tax system that Fidesz has introduced contribute to increasing inequality," said Marton Medgyesi, a senior researcher at Tarki. "Their new system is less progressive and broadly a flat tax system, and of course this benefits those with higher earnings because they have to pay lower taxes now than before."
Hungary is unlikely to change course. As Mr. Orban put it after the election, "We received a clear and unquestionable mandate to continue what we started."