Hungary trade surplus drops in February

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Hungary had a €672.6 million trade surplus in February, down from €743.3 million a year earlier, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said in a first reading of data on Monday. Exports fell 1.2% to €6.569 billion from the same period a year earlier. Imports edged down 0.1% to €5.896 billion. The trade surplus amounted to €988.8m in January-February 2013. Exports rose 1.5% to €13.034 billion and imports were up 2.5% at €12.045 billion. Hungary's trade surplus reached €6.823 billion in 2012, down €237m from 2011, KSH said in a second reading on March 4. Full-year exports edged up 0.1% to €80.09 billion and imports increased 0.5% to €73.27 billion. TakarékBank analyst Gergely Suppan said the drop in exports and imports in February could be explained largely by the fact the month had one fewer workday than in the base period. He added that Hungary's trade surplus could reach €7.4 billion this year, up from €6.8 billion in 2012. Zoltán Árokszállási of Erste Bank Hungary also attributed the fall in exports and imports to the workday effect. He said the full-year surplus could climb over €7 billion as new automotive industry capacity goes on line.

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