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Hungary - Economic recession and higher inflation

Hungary - Economic recession and higher inflation

14.8.2012 16:13
Autor: Tomáš Vlk, Patria Finance

GDP (2Q): -0.2% q/q, -1.2% y/y
Consensus: -1.0% y/y
Previous (1Q): -1.0% q/q, -0.7% y/y

The preliminary GDP was slightly worse than expected in the 2Q. As reported by the statistical office, about a half of industries showed stagnation, while information and communication industry increased and construction decreased significantly. The detailed release will probably confirm that the domestic demand remained depressed in the 2Q. The high unemployment and the declining real wages weigh on the consumer consumption, the investments are falling and the government has no room for any significant support. The exports had likely positive impact on the GDP figures, but their growth is seen declining in the next quarters due to the weakening demand in the Eurozone.

CPI (Jul): -0.1% m/m, 5.8% y/y
Consensus: 5.5% y/y
Previous (Jun): 0.1% m/m, 5.6% y/y

The consumer prices declined slightly in July, but the yearly inflation accelerated unexpectedly. The index was driven higher by all the categories in the consumer basket except for durable goods. Seasonal food prices declined less than previous year and remain the key driver. Another significant influence comes from the excise tax on tobacco. Moreover, the fuels and services prices are still higher than in the same period of last year. The core inflation is back above 5 percent.

For the monetary policy, the new macro figures pose risks on both sides. The GDP contraction has proved that the economy is in recession, which is an argument for monetary easing. On the other hand, the price growth stays high, including the core inflation (5.1 pct. y/y). This will likely discourage the central bank from a rate cut. Moreover, the country has not yet reached the emergency loan deal with the IMF/EU, which may still influence the risk premia. Thus, we expect the MNB to stay cautious and keep the rates on hold.

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