Hungary: GDP maintains the pace in fourth quarter
March 9, 2012
In the fourth quarter, GDP increased 1.4% over the same period the year before, according to data released by the Central Statistics Office (KSH) on 9 March. The print was unrevised from the flash estimate published on 15 February and mirrored an increase of the same magnitude in the third quarter. The external sector remained the main pillar of growth, despite exports moderating from a 6.7% expansion in the third quarter to a 4.9% increase in the fourth quarter. Imports moderated further, slowing from 3.8% growth in the third quarter to a 1.7% expansion. As a result, the net contribution from the external sector to overall growth inched up from 3.2 percentage points in the third quarter to 3.3 percentage points. On the domestic side, gross fixed investment declined for the twelfth quarter in a row by decreasing 4.4% (Q3 2011: -7.6% year-on-year). Total consumption mirrored the previous quarter's 0.2% contraction, as private consumption swung from a 0.1% increase in the third quarter to a 0.1% contraction in the fourth, while government consumption declined at a slower rate of 0.7% (Q3 2011: -1.9% yoy). Compared to the previous quarter, GDP grew a seasonally adjusted 0.3%, which came in only a notch below the 0.4% increase recorded in the third quarter. In the full year 2011, the economy grew 1.7%, up from the 1.3% recorded in 2010. In its latest inflation report from December, the Central Bank anticipated the economy to grow 0.1% this year and 1.6% in 2012.