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Strong Q3 growth likely to slow in coming quarters, says analysts

Hungary’s GDP growth was strong in the third quarter but is likely to slow in coming quarters because of austerity measures, the weak forint and a poor outlook for the country’s biggest export markets, analysts told MTI on Tuesday.

Hungary’s economy grew 1.4% in Q3 from the same period a year earlier, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said early Tuesday. GDP grew 0.5% compared to the previous quarter.

Gergely Suppan of Takarékbank attributed the upward revision of quarter-on-quarter growth in Q1 and Q2 to the farm sector, which had a difficult year in 2010. Exports continue to drive growth in Hungary, although the payout of yields on private pension fund assets in the summer caused consumption to stabilize, he added. Fixed capital formation was held by big car industry investments, he said.

Growth will probably slow in the coming quarters because of the deteriorating situation on Hungary’s export markets and austerity measures, he said.

Suppan put full-year growth at 1.7% for 2011. Growth in Q4 is likely to be similar, he added.

Suppan sees growth falling to 0.8% in 2012, with some of the decline being countered by the start of operation at German carmaker Daimler’s plant in Kecskemet (C Hungary). He put growth in 2013 at 1.9%.

Erste Bank’s Zoltán Árokszállási said the Q3 GDP growth figure was over analysts’ consensus but he put Q4 growth at 1% or less because of the weaker forint and the uncertain outlook for Hungary’s export partners. He put growth in 2012 at just 0.2%, adding that the government could introduce further measures to improve the balance.