Bloomberg News

Hungarian Sentiment Index Edges Higher, Still Close to 2012 Low

July 23, 2012

Hungary’s economic sentiment (GKIESNDX:US) index edged higher in July amid a “slight” improvement in business and consumer sentiment.

The index was minus 23.2 compared with minus 24.5 in June, the GKI research institute in Budapest said in an e-mailed statement today. The business-confidence index increased to minus 13.3 from minus 14.6, while the gauge of consumer confidence rose to minus 51.4 from minus 52.6.

The improvement in business confidence is “modest” and follows three months of deterioration, GKI said. Even so, changes in the gauge “were all within the margin of error.”

Hungary’s economy contracted 0.7 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, raising the risk of a recession. The government, which has said that gross domestic product may shrink in 2012, is in talks with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund on financial assistance.

The forint weakened for a second day and traded at 287.77 per euro yesterday, heading for its weakest close in a week. The benchmark BUX (BUX) stock index has declined 2 percent this month.

Households’ perception of their financial situation over the next year improved and consumers’ assessment of their current financial situation is less pessimistic than in May, when the gauge plunged to a record low level, GKI said.

GKI’s indexes are calculated based on a balance of positive and negative answers to questions about the outlook for the economy.

To contact the reporter on this story: Edith Balazs in Budapest at ebalazs1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net


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