Hungary’s economy grew by an annual 3.9 percent in the third quarter of 2017, according to a second reading of unadjusted data, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Tuesday.
Seasonally and calendar-year-adjusted data showed growth of 4.1 percent in Q3.
Both figures were revised up 0.3 percentage points from the first reading, mainly due to market-based services which performed better than expected, the KSH said.
The adjusted growth rate was the highest since Q3 2014.
Adjusted quarter-on-quarter GDP growth was revised up 0.1 percentage point to 0.9 percent in Q3, unchanged from the previous quarter.
Commenting on the data, the economy ministry’s deputy state secretary for financial affairs told public television that Hungary’s dynamic growth was driven by domestic consumption and demand. Growth is expected continue in the coming months, László Balogh said. The main contributors are industry and construction, home building and investments, he said. Investments rose by 20 percent, a sign of the success of government home-creation schemes and the effective utilisation of EU funds, he said. Capacity building investments by large companies are also boosting growth, he said. Hungary’s 3.9 percent growth is outstanding compared with the 2.5 percent EU average, he said.
Retail and consumption figures have been growing for 52 consecutive months, Balogh noted. The last months of the year are expected to show a strong upswing in the sector, he said.
Analysts expressed surprise over both the fact and especially the size of the 0.3 percentage-point upward revision of Q3 GDP growth data, saying they do not expect full-year growth to reach 4 percent.
Péter Virovácz of ING Bank said Q4 growth could reach 4.2 percent but that would still leave full-year growth at slightly below 4 percent.
Erste Bank’s Gergely Ürmössy said the bank had raised its 2017 growth forecast to 3.9 percent from 3.7 percent in the light of the large KSH revision.