Exports drop in August as car production slows

Automotive

Hungary's exports decreased 4.1% in August as compared with a year ago, the Central Statistics Office reported today. The first such decrease in several months was apparently caused by a drop in production, especially in the automotive sector. 

The trade surplus was EUR 270 mln in August, as imports also dropped, by 0.5%.

Analysts say that the general economic slowdown in Europe has had an impact on Hungary's large automotive production sector, which up until now has been increasing at dizzying speed and driving months of growth in production and exports for Hungary. The vehicle production sector and its supportive industries are estimated to contribute as much as 10% of Hungary's GDP.

According to reports, the Audi plant in Győr, which trumpeted the production of its 100,000th car in a September announcement, had overproduced given Europe's weak market, and the plant stopped production in August.

The slowdown in Hungarian automotive production coincides with similar slowdowns being reported in Poland and Czech Republic.

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