The economic transition took place in the Central and Eastern European region almost at the same time. The reasons and the process of economic transition are similar. However, the Hungarian case had a special importance in the change of the regime, as it was followed by a political transformation. The New Economic Mechanism from 1968 brought irreversible changes in macroeconomy and in the attitude towards enterpreneurship. The reforms were stopped because of several reasons. However, the spirit survived. While focusing on the transformation, it is also essential to examine the historical and political background of Hungary to answer the question whether the socialist economy can be can be considered a “detour” or “impasse”. Using the different statistical data about the Hungarian convergency towards the developed Western European region, it can be said that the relative backwardness is rooted in the historical past and apart from the fact that several efforts were carried out in order to reduce or at least to stop the growing differences, these attempts failed partly because of several inappropriate political decisions.