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Consumer confidence levels off in Q3, GfK says

Consumer sentiment deteriorated slightly in the third quarter of the year, after dropping dramatically in the second quarter when the government announced a series of austerity measures, according to the latest measure of consumer confidence by market research company GfK Hungária Kft.

The GfK consumer confidence index fell 3 points to 149 in the third quarter, after falling 50 points in the second. Households' assessment of their own financial positions, as well as the country deteriorated slightly in the third quarter. Half of households said they were worse off than one year ago, compared to just a third in the first quarter. Just a tenth of households said they were better off in the third quarter year-on-year, compared to 40% in the same period last year. About 65% said the country was in a worse position compared to a year earlier, compared to just 41% in the first quarter. 46% of households said they expected things to get worse, the highest pessimism rate in ten years. Just over a third of households said they expected to earn less in nominal terms in the coming year, slightly more than in the first quarter. About 63% said their real wages would fall in the next 1-2 years because of higher inflation. 62% of households said they expected joblessness to rise in the coming twelve months, slightly less than in the first quarter, but one of the highest levels in ten years. Just over 20% of households said now would be a good time to sell their homes, while 45% said it was a good time to buy a home.