(MTI) – Hungary posted a 419.2 million euro trade surplus in May, based on preliminary data, 71.9 million euros lower than the same month the year before, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Wednesday.
Exports rose by 2.4 percent to 7.036 billion euros. Imports were up 3.8 percent at 6.617 billion euros.
Fully 79 percent of Hungary’s exports went to other European Union countries in May and 73 percent of the country’s imports came from the EU.
In January-May 2014, the trade surplus came to 2.977 billion euros, up 182.6 million euros from the same period last year. Exports rose by 4.2 percent to 34.938 billion euros and imports were up 3.9 percent at 31.962 billion euros.
Hungary’s surplus continued to decline this year partly as an effect of fast-growing imports which is thanks to an uptick in domestic consumption, analysts told MTI.
Gergely Gabler of Erste Bank said that whereas domestic consumption had been at a low point last year, this year it was expected to grow by 2 percent since real wages are increasing in value against a backdrop of low inflation. He added that the faster pace of European Union investments was contributing to the pick-up of imports this year.
Andras Balatoni of IMG Bank said the drop in exports compared with May last year was partly down to stalling of western European growth connected with the waning performance of German industry. At the same time, Hungary’s economy is recovering with a corresponding rise in domestic demand, consumption and investments. These factors are a magnet for imports, he added.