Hungary: GDP contracts in the first quarter
June 8, 2012
In the first quarter, GDP declined 0.7% over the same period last year, according to data released by the Central Statistics Office (KSH) on 8 June. The print confirmed the flash estimate published on 15 May but contrasted an increase of 1.4% observed in the last quarter of 2011. Compared to the previous quarter, GDP contracted a seasonally adjusted 1.2%, which contrasted the flat reading observed in Q4 2011. The result mainly reflected a decline in fixed investment, which contracted 6.6% in the first quarter (Q4 2011: -4.5% year-on-year). In addition, private consumption growth slipped into the red, declining 0.7% (Q4 2011: 0.0% yoy). Government consumption, on the other hand, swung from a 1.8% contraction in the fourth quarter to a 1.0% expansion in the first. On the external side, exports added 1.9% in the first quarter, which was below the 4.9% rise observed in the fourth. Imports, on the other hand, contracted 0.3%, which contrasted the 1.7% increase observed in the last quarter of 2011. As a result, the net contribution from the external sector to overall growth remained positive but deteriorated from 2.9 percentage points in the fourth quarter to 2.2 percentage points in the first. The Central Bank expects the economy to grow 0.1% this year and 1.5% in 2013.