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Surplus on external trade in services at EUR 1.9 bln in Q4

In Q4 2019, service exports and imports rose by 3.8% and 6.8% respectively at current prices in EUR compared to the same period of the previous year. The surplus was EUR 1.9 billion, which is EUR 56 million less than in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to a report by the Central Statistical Office (KSH).

The value of exports amounted to EUR 6.6 bln and that of imports to EUR 4.7 bln. The surplus of external trade in services added up to EUR 1.9 bln.

Some 46% of the surplus came from travel and 35% from transportation services. About 72% of Hungarian service exports and 77% of service imports were with EU countries, generating a surplus of EUR 1.2 bln in this relation.

The countryʼs most important partner was Germany with 20% of the total turnover. Hungaryʼs second most important partner, the United States, had a share of 9% in external trade in services. In the third place is Austria with its 8% share of the total turnover.

Business services accounted for 45% of total service exports, including 24% for other business services, followed by transport services and travel with 25% and 22% respectively. The former service groups were also dominant in terms of imports: the share of business services was the most outstanding, accounting for 61% of total imports (including 37% for other business services). The import share of transport services and travel was 21% and 11% respectively.

KSH says that the less favorable balance is primarily due to the deteriorating balance of the manufacturing services on physical inputs owned by others and of the business services.

Hungarian trade surplus in the turnover with the European Union increased by 7.6%. Speaking of non-EU countries, balance decreased by EUR 138 mln, which is an outcome of the trade with Asian countries (including Japan). Besides, the surplus also fell in external trade with American and non-EU European countries.

Exports up 6.1% in 2019

The value of exports in the four quarters of 2019 amounted to EUR 27 bln and that of imports to EUR 18.2 bln.

The volume of exports increased by 6.1% (EUR 1.55 bln) and that of imports by 7% (EUR 1.198 bln).

KSH says that figures of Q1-Q4 2018 and Q1-Q3 2019 (manufacturing services on physical inputs owned by others, travel, maintenance and repair services, transport, business and government services) were modified based on company data adjustments.

Compared to previously published data, the value of exports increased by 1.5% and that of imports by 2.3% in 2018, while in Q1-Q3 of 2019 exports increased by 3% and imports by 5.4%.