Economic research institute Ecostat's consumer confidence index fell to 42.9% in April-June from 47.3% in January-March, Ecostat said on Wednesday.
This was the first time the index fell since a rising trend started in mid-2003. Households reported pessimistic views on most aspects of expectations, and they especially feared a rise in inflation. Households said they had a monthly net income of Ft 167,647 in the second quarter of 2006, or more than Ft 65,000 per capita, which is an improvement compared to the previous quarter, Ecostat said.
Respondents themselves assessed their own financial situation as average in 55%, good in 17% and poor in 27%. In April-June, 48% of consumers felt no change in their household's financial situation while 18% reported an improvement and 9% a serious deterioration. Households' outlook for the future was pessimistic, clearly as a response to the government's pending belt-tightening measures.