According to the April 2024 survey of Századvég Konjunktúrakutató, household economic sentiment deteriorated by 1.6 index points, while business economic expectations improved by 0.7 index points from the previous month. Thus, the household index, measured on a scale of -100 to +100, weakened to -16.4, while the business index strengthened to -12.2. A marked positive change in the April survey is that households’ inflation perceptions are steadily converging towards the actual rate, which is now within the central bank’s inflation target range. For businesses, the biggest positive change from March to April was in profits over the past year.


The prosperity index remained in negative territory, determined by the prolonged Russia-Ukraine war and the uncertainty caused by economic sanctions. Further significant improvement in economic expectations will be possible if the war ends, inflation remains in the central bank’s target range (between 2% and 4%), the interest rate environment becomes more favourable and energy markets see sustained low prices.

Three of the sub-indices of the household prosperity index weakened and one improved compared to the previous month. Employment continued to be the most positively assessed, with a decline from 0.7 in the previous month to -1.8. Households’ perception of inflation trends has again become significantly more positive, as the indicator improved from -77.2 in March to -68.7. The perception of the economic environment weakened slightly from -23.7 in the previous month to -24.3, while that of the financial situation went from -9.9 to -13.6.

In the household survey, the current inflation perception of households showed a notable positive shift from March.

When asked “What do you think the average increase in consumer prices has been over the past year?”, significantly fewer respondents (66.7% in April compared to 74.7% in March) said that prices had increased by an average of more than 7% over the past year. Meanwhile, the answer “increased by less than 1%” was answered by 0.5% of respondents, while the answer “increased by 1-2%” was 1.6 percentage points more (2.5%) than in the previous month. 6% of the respondents perceived the average price increase to be within the central bank’s inflation target range (2-4%). 8.8% of respondents perceived a 4-5% increase in price levels, 7% a 5-6% increase and 3.9% a 6-7% increase. It is therefore perceptible that the inflation rate perceived by households is moving closer and closer to the actual annual inflation rate within the central bank’s target range.

In April, households’ sense of prosperity improved in one age group, 40-49s (from -17.8 to -17.6). Those aged 60 and over are now the most optimistic (-14.3), followed by 18-29s (-14.5), while 30-39s (-21.0) are the most pessimistic, after a significant index decline (5.5 index points). For 50-59s, the current index value is -15.9.

For the business survey, three sub-indices improved, while one weakened. The industrial environment index improved from -4.7 to -2.1, the business environment index from -22.1 to -20.4, and the production environment index from -8.8 to -8.2, while the economic environment index fell from -24.1 to -24.5.

The biggest positive change for businesses in April 2024 was in recent profits. When asked “How has your business’ profit developed over the past 12 months?” overall, 4.2 percentage points fewer (15.9%) said it had decreased significantly, and 2.2 percentage points fewer (26.2%) said it had decreased slightly. However, 1.6 percentage points more people (31.2%) said it had not changed compared to March. In addition, 4.9 percentage points more (23.1%) reported a slight increase in profit and 0.4 percentage points less (2.0%) a significant increase.

Looking at the sectoral breakdown of companies, the sense of prosperity increased for four sectors and decreased for one sector on average. Businesses’ economic expectations fell by 4.4 index points in trade, rose by 0.7 index points in services, while agriculture, industry and construction showed an average increase of 13.7, 4.2 and 1.6 index points respectively from March to April. Thus, in April, the best sense of prosperity was recorded in industry (-6.2), while the weakest was in construction (-14.7).

• About the prosperity index

The purpose of the prosperity survey conducted by Századvég Konjunktúrakutató is to provide information to decision-makers and analysts on current and near-term economic developments. Since August 2019, our Institute has been producing the business and consumer prosperity index on a monthly basis. Our monthly survey asks 1,000 business leaders and 1,000 adult residents about their assessment of the economic situation and their expectations. For the two groups, we ask 29 and 28 questions respectively, covering a wide range of economic life. Among the responses received, positive ones (e.g. expected economic improvement) are given a positive score, while negative ones (expected decrease in employment) are given a negative score. The scores are then averaged and converted to a scale between -100 and +100 to obtain the prosperity indices. Thus, the higher the value of the prosperity indices, the more positive households’ and companies’ perception of the economy is. In addition, for both the household and the business survey, 4 sub-indices are constructed using a subset of the questions to illustrate the evolution of economic sentiment in a particular area.