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Outlook of big companies worsens slightly in February

The outlook of Hungary's biggest companies worsened slightly in February, while that of SMEs continued to improved, the latest measure of confidence by economic research institute Ecostat shows.

Ecostat's TOP-100 measure of confidence at the country's biggest hundred companies fell 2.3%age points to 69.5% in February compared to January. The SME confidence index rose 5.4%age points to 73.2%.

In January, both indices rose slightly.

Among big companies, 21% said output rose in the previous three months, while it fell for 35%. About 30% expect production to grow in the next three months and 48% see it staying unchanged.

About 27% of big companies expect domestic demand to grow and 39% see demand on export markets rising. Two-thirds said stock levels were average for the time of year. The percentage of companies planning investments fell to 40% in February from 43% in January and 51% in December.

More than half of big companies said current staff levels were appropriate. One-third planned layoffs.

Among SMEs, 17% said production grew in the past three months and 47% said it fell. About 38% expect output to grow in the coming three months and 42% see it stagnating.

About 28% expect demand on the domestic market to increase and 45% see demand on foreign market stagnating.

About 60% of SMEs said staff levels were appropriate but 23% said they could make layoffs. (MTI – Econews)