Hungary: Economic sentiment hits an almost two-year high in March
March 24, 2013
The GKI-Erste economic sentiment index inched up to minus 18.5 points in March. The figure is up one full percentage point from the minus 19.5 points seen in February and marks the highest level recorded since July 2011. According to GKI-Erste, consumer expectations continued to rise in March, while business confidence stagnated.
Consumer sentiment rose from minus 40.9 points in February to minus 37.3 points in March, its highest level since April 2011, as consumers' assessment of their financial situation in the next 12 months improved over the previous month. Consensus Forecast panellists expect total consumption to contract 0.7% this year, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month's projection. For next year, the panel sees total consumption rebounding to a 0.7% expansion.
Business sentiment remained virtually unchanged, inching up from minus 12.0 points in February to minus 11.9 points in March. Expectations for industrial and construction sectors decreased, whereas expectations for commerce and services improved over the preceding month. Panellists expect fixed investment to fall 2.3% this year, which is unchanged over last month's estimate. For next year, the panel sees investment expanding 0.7%.