The year 2022 was a turning point for the Hungarian forint. Analysts and traders expect a spectacular strengthening next year. But the spring months hold uncertainty. The euro could well be around 380, but could even fall below 430 forints.
The signs are that the forint will strengthen in 2023. This is based on the fact that the starting point for the weakening of the Hungarian currency was the protracted negotiations on EU subsidies. This has had an impact on the exchange rate.
The Hungarian government will have to meet 27 super-conditions by 31 March 2023 to get the first batch of aid. By then, the National Assembly must adopt a package of anti-corruption measures. “The question marks over this continue to keep the uncertainty in the foreign exchange market,” Miklós Kolba, senior treasury trader at ING Bank, explained to 24.hu.
The euro is above 400 forints because of uncertainty around EU funding. If the uncertainty disappears, we can expect a strengthening, and if some of the money arrives, it will strengthen the forint exchange rate. It is also important that the EU gas cap, energy prices, do not go very high.
In the first quarter of 2023, the euro exchange rate is expected to range between 390-410 forints, and in the second half of the year it could fall below 380 forints. The forint is not expected to strengthen beyond the 360-365 level.
The base rate in Hungary is 13 percent. According to Dávid Németh, senior macroeconomic analyst at K&H Bank, the period from February to the end of April 2023 could be critical.
The same forces could affect the forint as this year. The energy crisis, interest rate hikes by Fred, the US central bank, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the dispute between the Hungarian government and the EU. An important issue is European gas supply and the filling of gas storage facilities.
“After a possible storm, the forint could even strengthen to around the 380 level by early summer. This could be sustainable for the rest of the year,” Dávid Németh predicted.