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Macroeconomic Outlook – February 2022 issue

GDP grew by 7.2% in the last quarter of 2021, bringing domestic GDP growth to 7.1% on an annual basis (compared with an EU average of 4.8% over the same period). GDP growth on this scale has not been seen in Hungary for a quarter of a century. As for the third quarter, service sector benefited the most from the positive effects of the reopening in the last quarter of 2021, while the absence of constraints during the last wave of COVID was also reflected in the good performance of domestic consumption. As previously reported, investments expanded again at an outstanding rate of 12.7% in the 3rd quarter of 2021, a dynamic that has already reached the pre-pandemic level. In addition, the confidence index also started the new year on a note of optimism, confirming the projections of the Ministry of Finance for a similarly dynamic GDP growth of 5.9% for this year.

Source: EXIM Hungary, Factset, HCSO, Eurostat


Volume indexes of investments in national economy (seasonally adjusted, average of quarters YoY, 2015 = 100)

Source: EXIM Hungary, Factset, HCSO


In December 2021, industrial production increased by 5.8% compared with the same month of the previous year. All manufacturing sub-sectors with the exception of transport equipment contributed to this performance, due to the global chip shortage: the manufacture of food products and beverages and computer, electrical and optical products, which together accounted for 24% of manufacturing, increased by 14.2% and 14.8 % respectively. Overall, domestic industrial production grew by nearly 10% year-on-year, while capacity utilization in manufacturing returned to pre-COVID levels.

Industrial production Hungary (seasonally adjusted, 2015 = 100)

Source: EXIM Hungary, Factset, HCSO, Eurostat


Hungarian capacity utilisation in manufacturing (rate)

Source: EXIM Hungary, Factset, OECD


The construction sector also performed exceptionally, with an increase of 29% in December alone compared to the same month last year, leading the sector to end the year 13.3% above its 2020 performance. Turnover in retail stores rose 6.2% in December 2021 with full-year growth peaking at 3.5% compared to the same period last year. Consumption was positively affected by measures supporting families and businesses, tax cuts and the decision to introduce price caps for some products, such as fuel. Consumer spending shifted towards consumer goods, such as clothing and computer equipment, as a result of the moderation in fuel prices.

Volume indices of construction output (seasonally adjusted, 2015 =100)

Source: EXIM Hungary, Factset, OECD, HCSO


Domestic sales in retail trade (April 2015 = 100)

Source: EXIM Hungary, Factset, HCSO


Last but not least, the balance of external trade in goods showed a surplus of €187 million in the last month of the year. The surplus was mainly due to a 7% annual increase in the volume of industrial exports in December 2021, a performance achieved amid the easing of trade restrictions and supply disruptions. Manufacturing exports rose by 6.1% on an annual basis compared to 2020, with the largest contribution coming from the increase in demand for manufacture of electrical equipment and computer, electronic and optical products. This trend might continue next month as new export orders are clearly on the rise.

Hungarian external trade in goods (in M€)

Source: EXIM Hungary, Factset, HCSO


External trade in goods by destination country (€, First semester, 2021)

Source: EXIM Hungary, Factset


Elérhetőség: research@exim.hu

Utolsó módosítás dátuma: 02 March 2022

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