The 2 per cent GDP growth in the third quarter of 2016 confirmed the correctness of the 2 per cent growth forecast of GKI for 2016. In recent weeks, the IMF reduced its forecast to 2 per cent and the EU to 2.1 per cent, which is significantly lower than expected growth rates in the region. The significant decline in investments in 2016 will be followed by a noticeable growth in 2017 mainly due to the restart of the inflow of EU transfers, while the increase of consumption, which is very rapid this year, will continue similarly. GKI expects GDP to grow by 2.7 per cent in 2017, which is almost identical with the projections of the IMF and the EU. At present, internal and external equilibria are very favourable; however, some manageable deterioration can be expected next year due to the start of government spending related to the forthcoming parliamentary elections. Inflation began to pick up, too.
Following its three-year low in October, the GKI economic sentiment index strengthened to its spring level in November. According to the empirical survey conducted by GKI with the support of the EU both business and consumer expectations improved in November. The GKI economic sentiment index has fluctuated in a relatively narrow band for two and a half years, and now it is somewhere around the middle of this band.
In October, the Budapest and the Hungarian real estate market indices of GKI-MGYOSZ stood at +4 and -2 points respectively. The index figure in Budapest was nearly 4 points higher than a quarter earlier, while the national index was almost equal to the figure measured in July (up within the error margin). Compared to one year earlier, the Budapest index went up 10 points and the national one has increased 7 points.
GKI continues to expect a GDP growth of 2 per cent in 2016. Internal and external equilibria are very favourable, and inflation almost ceased, although it slowly began to pick up in September. The significant decline in investments in 2016 will be followed by a noticeable growth in 2017 mainly due to the restart of the inflow of EU transfers, while consumption, which is increasing very rapidly this year, will barely slow down. GKI expects GDP growth of 2.7 per cent in 2017. In October, the IMF lowered its 2016 GDP growth forecast for Hungary to 2 per cent and left it unchanged at 2.5 per cent for 2017.
Although it did not deteriorate much in October, the GKI economic sentiment index reached its lowest point in the past three years. According to the empirical survey conducted by GKI with the support of the EU, expectations also deteriorated similarly in the business sector. Although they also deteriorated among consumers, and this time quite substantially, they are still more favourable than at the beginning of the year. However, the GKI economic sentiment index has fluctuated in a relatively narrow band during the past three years.