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Business confidence improves slightly in April – Ecostat

  Sentiment at Hungary’s biggest companies as well as at SMEs improved in April, the latest measure of confidence by Ecostat shows.

Ecostat’s TOP-100 index of confidence at Hungary’s biggest hundred companies rose more than seven percentage points to 60.8% in April compared to March.

About 40% of big companies planned to keep headcount unchanged, practically level with the percentage of companies that planned to make layoffs. One-fifth said they wanted to make new hires. Just 10-15% of big companies plan to raise their prices.

Nearly half of the companies said their profitability was stable, but 41% said it deteriorated. About half of the companies said they had fewer orders than usual and the other half said orders were stagnating. Few big companies planned investments.

Ecostat’s measure of SME confidence improved slightly to 56.6% in April. About 63% said they had cut output in the past three months and 29% said output was unchanged. About 47% of SMEs said they would reduce output in the coming three months and 35% saw it stagnating.

Small layoffs were planned by 38% of SMEs and big layoffs by 7%. Just 9% wanted to make new hires.

In a sector-by-sector breakdown, confidence in the construction industry was weakest.

Ecostsat’s consumer confidence index fell 4.8 percentage points to 64.4% in April after rising slightly in March. Households were more pessimistic about their financial outlook. (MTI-Econews)