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December trade surplus adjusted slightly downwards

In December 2018, export volume rose 1.7% while import volume was 3.9% higher than in December 2017, according to a second estimate of the external trade in goods from the Central Statistical Office (KSH). The surplus was EUR 393 million in December, while the surplus totaled nearly EUR 5.56 billion in 2018 as a whole.

According to calendar-adjusted data, export and import volumes rose by 3.7% and 5.3%, respectively.

In December 2018, the value of exports amounted to EUR 7.658 bln, and that of imports to EUR 7.265 bln. The value of exports rose by 2.5%, and that of imports by 5.3% in euro terms. The surplus in the external trade in goods thus totaled EUR 393 mln in December, down by EUR 178 mln year-on-year. The balance is EUR 5 mln less than the value published in the first reading on February 8.

The trade of machinery and transport equipment grew by 2.6% in exports, and by 6.4% in imports.

The export volume of manufactured goods did not change, while imports increased by 3.0%.

The export volume of fuels and electricity was up by 5.0%, while their import volume decreased by 4.0%.

The export volume of food, beverages and tobacco grew by 1.3%, and their import volume by 0.8%.

The volume of exports to EU member states was up by 4.3%, and that of imports from these countries by 1.2%. The surplus in the external trade in goods with the EU increased by EUR 196 mln to EUR 717 mln. These countries accounted for 80% of exports and 74% of imports.

In extra-EU trade, the volume of exports decreased by 7.5%, while that of imports rose by 12.8%. The balance of external trade in goods with this group of countries deteriorated by EUR 374 mln, showing a deficit of EUR 325 mln.

The forint price level of the external trade in goods increased by 4.3% in imports and by 3.8% in exports compared to the same month of the previous year. The terms of trade thus worsened by 0.5%. The forint exchange rate depreciated by 3.1% against the euro, and by 7.2% against the U.S. dollar.

In the full year 2018

In 2018 as a whole, the value of exports amounted to EUR 104.9 bln, up 4.2%, and that of imports to EUR 99.3 bln, up 7.3%.

The surplus in the balance of external trade in goods decreased by over EUR 2.5 bln in 2018, and amounted to EUR 5.557 bln.

The forint price level of the external trade in goods in 2018 increased by 4.0% in imports and by 3.0% in exports compared to the previous year. The terms of trade thus worsened by 1.0%. The forint depreciated by 3.1% against the euro, while appreciating by 1.5% against the U.S. dollar.

A first estimate of data for the external trade in goods in January 2019 will be published on March 11, with a second, more detailed reading to follow on April 1.