Hungarians may appear to have more money at their disposal this holiday season, but the record high of personal loans tells a different story.
The Hungarian Trade Association’s (OKSZ) forecast predicts that the course of trade is going to reach record levels this December. According to OKSZ, the overall revenue of the sector—from the last six months alone—could come close to 1200 billion forints (1 billion Huf is 3.2 million Eur).
Customers are expected to spend nearly 100 billion forints on foodstuff and an additional 100 billion on presents. Aside from traditional Christmas gifts, this amount includes coupons, theater tickets and tours.
According to György Vámos, the Executive Secretary of OKSZ, the economy provides a favorable market environment for trade. He thinks families have more money to spend due to the growing GDP, increased salaries and the government’s family support system.
The National Bank of Hungary (MNB) also expects a record high-level of personal loans in December. The total amount could reach 450 billion HUF this month, according to István Binder, the spokesperson for MNB.
While 160 billion forints were spent on personal loans in 2008, that number is expected to triple this year. To help spread the word about responsible spending during the Christmas season, the MNB has launched a campaign once again.
Spar Magyarország Kft., one of the most prominent retailers in the country, realized nearly 10 percent of its yearly revenue in the last month. The average value of purchases typically increases by 20-25 percent during the holiday season, along with the number of customers which rises by almost 3 percent. The company expects this month to be one of its best.
The Christmas season is one of the most productive times of the year for the online commerce sector. With 25-30 percent more orders being placed than usual, the value of purchases is noticeably rising.