GKI currently expects the Hungarian economy to decline by 5-7 per cent in 2020 (assuming no second wave of the pandemic this year). In March, shortly after the announcement of the coronavirus emergency, GKI forecast two scenarios: one with a 3 per cent and another with a 7 per cent decline in GDP this year. Interestingly, in recent months the Hungarian government and the IMF published forecasts close to GKI’s less pessimistic figure, whereas the EU and the OECD published forecasts with the more pessimistic variant.
Although the GKI economic sentiment index rose by a larger extent in June than in May, it elimi-nated only a smaller half (44 percent) of its April fall. According to the empirical survey con-ducted by GKI (www.gki.hu) with the support of the EU, the consumer confidence index rose to a greater extent in May and the business confidence one in June. This is mainly due to the fact that industrial expectations started to improve in June after their continuing deterioration in May.
In May, presumably as a result of the lockdown easing measures announced by the govern-ment, almost all sectoral and consumer confidence indices increased and eliminated one-third of their dramatic fall in April. However, pessimism in industry intensified further. GKI’s eco-nomic sentiment index rose by 5 points to -28 points after falling by 29 points in April, still re-flecting pervasive pessimism. The consumer confidence index increased by more than 10 points and the business one by only 3 points. It is true, however, that the fall in April was also more pronounced in the business sector (37 and 25 points, respectively).
GKI’s consumer confidence index grew again in May and eliminated almost a third of its April fall. The 38-point drop in April was followed by an improvement of more than 11 points in May. The index rose, presumably as a result of the lockdown easing measures announced by the government, to an otherwise extremely pessimistic -38.5 point after its -50 points in April.
The expectations of housing companies clearly deteriorated in April 2020 compared to a quarter earlier – according to the survey of GKI and Masterplast. The epidemic caused by the corona virus has crashed the already slowing housing market, so the outlooks have become much more modest. The value of Budapest and Hungarian housing market index of GKI fell sharply on a quarterly and annual basis. According to the respondents, an average price drop of around 9-10% is expected in Budapest and 7-13% in the countryside for the next 12 months.