February industry and retail sales show some further consolidation, though no breakthrough at all by consumer demand

HUNGARY - In Brief 05 Apr 2024 by Istvan Racz

KSH published February industrial output and retail sales data this morning. Industry grew by 3.5% mom, 0.1% yoy, recovering from -1.1% mom in January and a 13-month series of substantially negative data in year-on-year terms. At this moment, it is not known how the recovery was contributed to by domestic and export sales, but in most recent months, export sales were actually weaker than the also slumpish domestic market.  Note: Fixed-base chart, in volume terms, seasonally and day-adjusted, December 2010 = 100; Source: KSH Retail sales appeared to be more controversial than this. Year-on-year, there was a slight 0.8% growth after January's marginal 0.1% positive number and decreasingly negative data over the previous 13 months. But in February alone, turnover fell by 0.6%. True, sales actually grew by 4.6% yoy on unadjusted basis, but of course the leap year had an impact on that number. As an assessment, these figures certainly represent some further progress on the road towards consolidation and recovery, but they appear much less positive than something that could make government policymakers happy.

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