Among EU countries, only Portugal (11.9%), Poland (9.1%) and Austria (8.7%) had higher GDP growth rates than Hungary in the beginning of this year. In contrast, the German economy expanded by only 1.4%, while the Slovak and Swedish economies grew by only 3.0%.
In March, the volume of retail sales increased by 16.2% on a year-on-year basis. The expansion was fuelled by improving household incomes, partly due to rising wages and government transfers paid in February (social security refunds, 13th month pensions) and also by the base effect, i.e. there were no epidemic restrictions this year as in the previous year. In addition, mid-month panic buying in fuel retailing also played a significant role in the strong performance, with the sector’s turnover rising by 51.4% on an annual basis.
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