GKIʼs economic sentiment index weaker in March
After its historic peak in February, GKI’s index of economic sentiment fell slightly in March to 8.6, from 9.5 in February. Expectations deteriorated slightly in the business sector, whereas they continued to rise among consumers, according to the economic research institute.
Expectations of all sectors deteriorated somewhat in the business sphere in March, where the standalone business confidence index slipped from its peak of 15.5 in February to 13.6 in March.
After its historic peak in February, the industrial confidence index declined in March. Although the assessment of production and stock levels in the latest period improved, prospects deteriorated. The total stock of orders was also rated as less favorable (though export orders were evaluated slightly better), GKI shows.
The construction confidence index has been declining for three quarters compared to its historic peak. At the same time, structural engineering companies have never been so optimistic. Although the assessment of production in the preceding three-month period improved somewhat in March, that of orders declined slightly.
The trade confidence index fell most significantly in March, though only compared to its historic peak in February. The assessment of sales positions, stock levels and incoming orders deteriorated.
The services confidence index fell to its December level in March. The assessment of turnover in the period and that of the general business climate deteriorated considerably. However, sales expectations improved.
Intentions to employ were restrained in all sectors, except for trade, where they improved. At the same time, the fear of unemployment of households eased.
Intentions to lift prices dropped in industry and construction, and strengthened in trade and services, while inflationary expectations of consumers became noticeably more pronounced.
The assessment of the situation of the Hungarian economy remained unchanged in industry, and deteriorated in construction, whereas it improved in trade and services as well as among households.
After Februaryʼs -7.6, GKI’s standalone consumer confidence index rose in March to -5.8. The figure has been higher only in November 2002. Households evaluated their financial situation and their current and future savings capacity slightly better than in February. In addition, households considered the possibility of purchasing high-value durable goods as strongly improving as well.
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