There is currently a boom in refrigerator sales, according to a joint market survey by economic think tank GKI and electronics retailer Euronics published on Friday. Aside from last year's government-subsidized refrigerator replacement scheme, sales were not this high since 2008.
Incidentally, this means a prediction made by Finance Minister Mihály Varga in 2012 has now come true. At that time, he expected consumption to pick up eventually as "fridges break down sooner or later, and the TV set may have to be replaced as well". This followed on the heels of two years when households put off purchases amidst the post-crisis uncertainty. Fridge sales did begin to rise in 2013 and have now reached pre-crisis levels.
The previously seen large fluctuations in the income and savings of households have decreased, favorably affecting refrigerator sales. As a result of their improving financial situation and a more positive sentiment, households are more willing to buy expensive consumer electronics goods as well, GKI and Euronics said in the survey.
The long lifecycle of refrigerators is also a factor in the current boom. The average Hungarian household replaces its refrigerator every 9.5 years, making it the longest-lasting electronics item in households. Before last year's subsidized fridge replacement scheme, the last replacement wave was before the crisis, which means units bought then are nearing the end of their lifecycles.