Hungary: Economic sentiment reaches 12-year high
March 25, 2014
In March, the GKI-Erste economic sentiment index rose to minus 0.7 points, which was up from the minus 2.1 points recorded in February. The figure marked the highest level since August 2002. According to the GKI economic research institute, the improvement resulted from an increase in consumer confidence. Consumer sentiment improved from minus 22.0 points in February to minus 15.9 points in March and reached an eight-year high. Consumers' prospects regarding savings capacity, their personal finances and the possibility to purchase large-ticket durables improved over the previous month. FocusEconomics panelists expect total consumption to expand 1.4% in 2014, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month's projection. For 2015, the panel expects total consumption to increase to a 1.6% expansion. Business sentiment, however, inched down from 4.9 points in February to 4.7 points in March. According to GKI, “expectations of industrial companies deteriorated slightly, those of trading and service firms improved somewhat, whereas the expectations of construction companies remained unchanged.” Panelists expect fixed investment to increase 4.1% in 2014, which is up 0.5 percentage points over last month's estimate. For 2015, the panel sees investment expanding 2.9%.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions