According to the results of Századvég Economic Research Institution, in January 2021, the economic activity index of the population increased to -6.4 points from -10.6 in December, while in the case of companies, it increased from -16.4 to -12.2 points.
All four sub-indices of the household economic activity index showed an improvement compared to the previous month.
The biggest improvement was in the assessment of inflation, where the value of the index increased from -25.5 to -18.9; however, households still consider this to be the most unfavorable of the four indicators.
The employment situation was the most favorable in January, with the value of the index rising from -6.3 to -2.9, while the assessment of the financial situation improved to -3.6 from the previous -8.8. The assessment of the economic environment increased from -14.7 to -11.5.
Of those surveyed, 42.3 percent are not afraid of losing their job, while the proportion of those who are very afraid of this has dropped from 14.1 percent to 13 percent. The explanation for the improvement may be that, on a macroeconomic level, the employment rate is high, and those who have not lost their jobs so far are less likely to lose them in the future.
At the same time, people’s perception of the labor market has become less favorable. Regarding unemployment, more people reported a significant increase (26.5 percent instead of 23.5) than in the previous month, while fewer people reported a stagnation (21.4 percent instead of 26.3) and a small increase (24.9 percent instead of 26.1).
In the case of companies, the assessment of the economic and industrial environment has become more favorable. Based on the results of the company survey, the biggest improvement was in the assessment of the economic situation for the next year, which may be explained by the expectations related to the vaccine. The proportion expecting a significant deterioration fell from 19.1 percent to 12.1 percent, while only 22 percent expected a slight deterioration instead of 29.7 percent.
The biggest deterioration seems to be in regard to raising resources needed for development.
The corporate and retail economic activity index has been compiled month by month since August 2019 to provide decision-makers and analysts with information on current and expected developments in the economy in the near future.