June output down slightly; automotive exports buoying industry

Automotive

Output of Hungary’s industrial sector edged down 0.6% year-on-year in June, according to the Central Statistics Office (KSH); according to a Wall Street Journal report, however, performance of the sector exceeded expectations, which had been forecast for a 1.0% drop.

The drop came after a 2.1% decline in May, which followed a long-unseen 4.9% increase in April. Output in April 2013 represented a two-year peak for the country’s industry.

Adjusting for working days, the picture looks a little better: With this tweak, KSH was able to report that industrial production actually *increased* 1.7% year-on-year in June to make up for a 2.1% drop in May following April’s record-high 2.6% rise. Applying seasonal adjustments, industrial production grew 1.2% month-on-month. For the first six months of 2013, production shrunk 1.6% from the same period last year.

Upon release of this latest round of statistics, KSH analyst Miklós Schindele stated that “domestic sales continue to decline in all major sectors, with only vehicle manufacturing exports slightly offsetting [the negatives].”

The reported drop in Hungary’s industrial production – and Schindele’s assessment – generally reflected that of the Czech Republic’s, though the latter nation saw a well more precipitous drop of 5.3% year-on-year. The WSJ opined that “Czech and Hungarian economies swim or sink with their car export-focused manufacturers,” but while Hungary’s automotive manufacturers continue to enjoy “steady demand” from European Union and Chinese markets, the Czech Republic has seen declines in its exports of vehicles in the previous three months.

– Material from Gabor Pakodzi was used in this story.

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