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Surplus on trade narrows, August c/a figures show

Tourism

Hungary's surplus on external trade – especially the trade of goods – saw a sharp decrease in August, and was the main factor in the EUR 110 million drop of the c/a surplus from July to EUR 264 million, fresh monthly balance-of-payment figures published by the National Bank of Hungary today show.

 The surplus in the trade of goods was down both from July and compared to the averages recorded in the second quarter of 2014 or in the third quarter of 2013, the figures demonstrate. Summer shutdowns in the car industry could have affected exports as indicated in the Statistics Office's external trade statistics. Exports also fell in the longer comparison.

August imports fell in comparison with July, but rose both from the average in the previous quarter or one year earlier. This rise in imports could reflect rising domestic consumption.

The surplus on the trade of goods fell by almost €200 million from July to €88 million, which is less than half of the Q2 average and less than one-fourth of the respective average recorded in July-September 2013.

The surplus on trade of services also decreased from July to €450 million.  A rising tourism surplus did not compensate for decreasing revenue from other services. However, the drop was smaller and the services surplus still exceeded the Q2 and Q3 2013 averages.

The August c/a surplus was in line with the average monthly c/a surplus in the second quarter but was just half of the average c/a surplus in Q3 last year.

Hungary's external financing capacity – a combined surplus of the current and capital accounts – was down €77 million from July, but, at €658 million in August, was still up both from the monthly average in the second quarter or in July-September 2013.

The surpluses continued to be helped by net transfers from the European Union which reached €493 million in August, practically level with July, exceeding the April-June monthly average by €86m and one year earlier average levels by €170 million, indicating the accelerated utilization of EU funding before the end of the current seven-year budgetary period.

Net current transfers from the EU dropped to €98 million, while capital transfers increased by €33 million to €395 million, up nearly €150 million up from the second quarter and €190 million from the average in July-September 2013.

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