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Hungary Economic Index Improved to Eight-Month High in December

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Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Hungary’s economic-sentiment index improved to an eight-month high in December on rising business confidence and a more optimistic consumer outlook.

The sentiment index rose to minus 21.2 from minus 22.4 in November, the GKI research institute in Budapest said in an e-mailed statement. The business-confidence index advanced to minus 11.3 from minus 12.4 while the consumer confidence gauge jumped to minus 49.3 from minus 50.7.

The economic index has “continuously improved since September, albeit in small steps,” GKI said. It also said the gauge still remains below April’s levels, which were the strongest reading this year.

Hungary’s economy is battling its second recession in four years and is projected to recover very gradually with the central bank seeing an expansion of 0.5 percent in 2013. Economic output is set to remain below potential in the medium term, the bank said in its quarterly Inflation Report published yesterday.

GKI’s indexes are calculated based on a balance of positive and negative answers to questions about the outlook for the economy.

To contact the reporter on this story: Edith Balazs in Budapest at ebalazs1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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