Hungary Businesses Push Economic Sentiment Index to 2-Year High

Hungary’s economic-sentiment index jumped to its strongest level in more than two years in August as increased optimism among businesses outweighed a drop in consumer confidence.

The index rose to minus 14.3, the best reading since June 2011, from minus 15.5 in July, the GKI research institute in Budapest said in an e-mailed statement. Business confidence increased to minus 6.3, also a 26-month high, from minus 8.6 in July, while the consumer-confidence gauge fell to minus 36.9 from minus 35.3.

Services led the improvement in business confidence, while the sub-indexes for industrial and construction companies also grew slightly, GKI said. Households became more pessimistic about the economy’s outlook, it said.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who leads polls before elections next year, is struggling to revive Hungary’s economy. Gross domestic product advanced 0.1 percent from the previous three months in the second quarter and the government predicts it will rise 0.7 percent this year.

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

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