Hungary’s 2018 December trade surplus was revised downwards to 393 million euros in a second reading of data released by the Central Statistical Office (KSH) on Monday.
In the first reading, published on February 8, KSH had put the December surplus at 398 million euros.
Imports rose by an annual 5.3 percent in value terms to 7.265 billion euros. Exports were up 2.5 percent at 7.658 billion euros.
The trade surplus was down 178 million euros from the same month a year earlier.
Imports of machinery and transport equipment rose by 6.4 percent in volume terms and food, drink and tobacco imports were up 0.8 percent while energy imports dropped by 4.0 percent. Imports of manufactured goods were up 3.0 percent.
Exports of machinery and transport equipment rose by 2.6 percent, food, drinks and tobacco exports increased by 1.3 percent, energy exports expanded by 5 percent and exports of manufactured goods was unchanged.
Trade with other European Union member states accounted for 80 percent of Hungary’s exports and 74 percent of the country’s imports.
Hungary had a trade surplus of 717 million euros with EU countries and a trade deficit of 324 million euros with the rest of the world.
Hungary’s terms of trade worsened by 1.0 percent in December as import prices rose by 4.0 percent and export prices by only 3.0 percent in forint terms. The forint weakened 3.1 percent to the euro and strengthened 1.5 percent to the dollar during the period.
In the full year of 2018, Hungary’s trade surplus reached 5.557 billion euros, down from 8.078 billion in the same period a year earlier. Imports were up by 7.3 percent at 99.327 billion euros and exports rose by 4.2 percent to 104.885 billion euros.
Commenting on the data, Péter Szijjárto, the foreign affairs and trade minister, told public news channel M1 that Hungary’s export volume last year was a testament to the hard work of the Hungarian people. He attributed the country’s import volume to last year’s record-breaking investments.
Hungary is attracting more and more investors, more and more factories are being built and being used by international corporations to produce goods to be exported, the minister said.
Last year’s record export volume will allow companies present in Hungary to add more jobs and increase wages, along with increasing their value added, which will in turn help Hungary enter “a new dimension” of economic development, Szijjártó added.