Hungary: Economic sentiment increases in April, hovering near record high
April 30, 2018
The GKI economic sentiment index, a composite indicator, increased to 8.8 points in April from 8.6 points in March, reflecting improved consumer confidence. April’s print marked the second-highest reading in the survey’s history.
The business sentiment component of the index declined from 13.6 points in March to 13.3 points in April, on the back of a fall in confidence in the industrial and trade sectors. Sentiment in construction improved slightly, and retail confidence returned to its historic peak, supported by firms’ improved assessment of the general business climate.
Looking at the different subcomponents of the business sentiment survey, intentions to increase staffing strengthened in all sectors, most strongly in trade. Intentions to raise prices softened in all sectors expect construction. Lastly, Hungary’s economic outlook was perceived more negatively in all sectors.
In contrast, consumer confidence improved in April, with the index increasing from minus 5.8 in March to minus 3.9 in April points—the highest reading since November 2002. The improvement was largely driven by households’ more positive assessment of their current financial situations and their ability to save in the future. Conversely, households were less optimistic about the possibility of purchasing big-ticket items.
Hungary Fixed Investment Forecast
FocusEconomics panelists expect fixed investment to expand 9.5% in 2018, which is up 0.6 percentage points from last month’s projection. For 2019, the panel expects fixed investment to grow 5.1%. Panelists see private consumption expanding 4.0% in 2018, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. For 2019, the panel sees private consumption growing 3.4%.
Author: Lindsey Ice, Economist