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Ecostat: Hungary consumer confidence falls sharply in Q4

  Ecostat’s quarterly measure of consumer confidence in Hungary fell a sharp 22.7 percentage points from Q3 to 70.9% in Q4 as the global financial crisis worsened, Ecostat told MTI on Tuesday.

The index was still not as low as the 66.5% recorded in Q3 2006 after the government announced austerity measures, Ecostat noted.

Fifty-eight percent of households said their financial situations had worsened in the past year, and, even though most families are not yet feeling the direct effects of the global recession, 57% said their financial situations would continue to deteriorate in the coming year.

The percentage of breadwinners who feared for their jobs jumped to 52.2% in Q4 from 11% in Q3. About 80% of households said they expect unemployment to rise.

Just 7% of households plan to purchase a car in 2009 and only 5% are considering buying a home. Just 16% of households said they could make savings, the lowest percentage since 2001. Eighteen percent of families said they were digging into their savings and 11% said they were borrowing to make ends meet.

Ecostat said stricter lending conditions and falling wages are likely to reduce borrowing by households in 2009. Households’ inflationary outlook worsened, probably because they associate rising prices with crisis, even though a global recession will result in disinflation. (MTI-Eco)