Quite a few economic indicator figures have been released this morning.
The European Commission has published their economic forecast. They predict Hungary’s GDP would grow by 2.3% (up from their estimate 2.1% in February), the budget deficit would stay below the Maastricht-criteria three percent limit and Hungary’s yearly inflation rate would be only 1 percent.
- Exports increased by 7.1%, imports grew by 5.7% in the first two months of 2014 (year-on-year). The balance of trade surplus was 321 million EURs more and it grew to 1.242 billion EURs. Vow!
- 51% more properties were built in Hungary in the first three months of 2014 than a year earlier!
Besides the Association of Logistics, Purchasing and Inventory Management (Halpim) has announced that Hungary’s seasonally-adjusted Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) climbed to 54.6 points in April from 53.7 points in March, indicating further growth. (50-plus points means growth.)
By the way, last week Hungary’s National Bank announced that they will convert their two-week bill facility into a deposit instrument with the same maturity from August. The facility, the basis of the country’s benchmark interest rate, will no longer be accepted as collateral by the bank and foreign investors will be barred from it. This is a very significant measure indeed to encourage a further shift towards financing Hungary from domestic, Forint-based sources instead of foreign currency based sources and to reduce the country’s external vulnerability. As a reminder, Japan’s GDP-to-public debt ration is 220+% and that’s possible only because Japan owes their debt to its own citizens and companies, not to foreign ones.
Update on the 6th of May: KSH has announced retail sales have increased by 8.3% year-on-year in March, after 6.7% y-on-y in February.