Budapest (MTI) – Hungary’s trade surplus reached 507 million euros in May, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said in a second reading of data released on Monday.

The surplus was revised upward from 505 million euros in a first reading published on July 9.

Imports edged down at an annual 0.9 percent to 6.695 billion euros. Exports climbed 2.3 percent to 7.202 billion euros.

The trade surplus rose by 225 million euros from a year earlier.

In January-May, the trade surplus came to 3.491 billion euros. Imports came to 33.658 billion euros, up by 5.1 percent, and exports were up by 6.8 percent at 37.149 billion euros.

In a breakdown by sector, exports of the machinery and vehicles segment rose by 3.9 percent while imports of the segment increased by 4.7 percent. Food industry exports were unchanged while imports of food products rose by 6.2 percent. In the segment of manufactured goods, both export and imports rose by 2.1 percent. Energy imports were down by a sharp 32.1 percent and energy exports fell 20.3 percent.

About 76 percent of Hungary’s imports came from other European Union countries during the period. Almost 79 percent of its exports went to EU member states.

Hungary’s terms of trade improved 0.5 percent in January-May as the forint firmed 0.2 percent to the euro but weakened almost 23 percent to the dollar.

ING Bank chief analyst Andras Balatoni said that although Hungary’s trade surplus continues to be “massive”, last year’s data mean that export growth will be likely to slow later on. He noted that industrial output growth slowed in April-May despite the favourable outlook, leading to a deceleration in export growth for May.

Erste Bank analyst Gergely Urmossy said this year’s trade surplus could potentially reach 7.5 billion euros, up from last year’s 6.4 billion euros. He said it was the automotive industry that lifted exports in May, adding that increased automotive capacities and a weaker forint were likely to boost exports even further.

The economy ministry said it expects export growth to remain “favourable” throughout the rest of the year, allowing foreign trade to contribute significantly to economic growth.


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