Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/29/2014 -- We believe that the key drivers of growth in the Hungarian retail market over the next few years will be increased economic prosperity despite the financial downturn, easier access to credit and demand for premium products. Such trends will offset the negative impact of demographic factors such as an ageing and shrinking population, so the industry continues to offer substantial opportunities for foreign and domestic retailers.
The new Hungary retail report provides an extensive and comprehensive forecast of various retail indicators including household spending, and headline total spending across each retail subsector, household income, employment forecasts and demographic forecasts The report also includes a detailed breakdown of household and per capita spending across a large number of retail areas including food & drink, healthcare and insurance, consumer electronics, toys, pets, gardens, household goods, and a number of other subsectors.
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Overall, we see long-term potential in the local consumer market, particularly for non-essential items and aspirational purchasing by a growing affluent middle class. We forecast the average net household income will fall from 2013's US$8,213 to US$7,518 in 2014However, by 2018, the majority of households will fall into the US$10,000+ income bracket, which represents the key demographic for increased household spending on luxury items beyond necessities such as food, utilities and transport. We expect this number to grow, resulting in a corresponding increase in household spending on personal care and effects, consumer electronics, luxury household goods and high-end household appliances, restaurants and entertainment. Meanwhile, transport expenditure will also continue to rise as a larger number of households purchase cars and bikes and travel longer distances, including the purchase of holiday flights.
With the Hungarian general election in April 2014, Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Fidesz party is expected to once again emerge victorious and maintain its majority in parliament. With Fidesz retaining power, we expect broad policy continuity, with punitive corporate taxes propping up the state's coffers, while households emerge largely unscathed, with austerity measures and consumer tax hikes unlikely.
The Hungarian economy will continue on a gradual path to recovery, bolstered by an improving export story. Key trading partners in Central Europe are set to increase import demand in 2014 and 2015, as is Germany, Hungary's largest single export destination. The Hungarian National Bank is set to continue its easing cycle in the early stages of 2014 before increasing demand-side pressures push up consumer price inflation in the latter part of the year, resulting in a halt to the cutting cycle.
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