In December 2018, the volume of industrial output grew by 5.4% year-on-year, according to a first estimate of monthly data from the Central Statistical Office (KSH). Based on working day-adjusted data, December output rose by 5.7%.
The majority of manufacturing subsections contributed to the December growth, noted the KSH. Output of the biggest branch, vehicle manufacturing, rose at a faster pace than in the previous month. Output of the computer, electronics and optical equipment branch expanded significantly, while output of the food, beverages and tobacco branch rose to a lesser degree than a year earlier, the KSH said.
Industrial output in December – according to seasonally and working day-adjusted indices – was 2.5% above the level of the previous month.
In 2018 as a whole, the volume of industrial production was 3.6% higher compared to 2017.
A second estimate of industry output data for December, and for 2018 as a whole, will be published on February 13.
Responding to the data, ING Bankʼs chief analyst Péter Virovácz said the December increase was higher than expected, especially in light of seasonal shutdowns. Industrial output growth could reach 4-5% in 2019, though weaker output in Germany and a slowdown in global growth are downside risks, he added.
TakarékBank analyst Gergely Suppan also noted the high December growth as a positive surprise, saying it may have lifted Q4 GDP growth to 5%. The introduction of new car models and added manufacturing sector capacities, along with robust domestic demand, could raise industrial output growth to 4.8% this year, he added.