In euro terms, exports grew by 8.9% and imports by 8.4% in June 2018 compared to the same month of the previous year, according to a first estimate of data for the external trade in goods from the Central Statistical Office (KSH). The trade surplus was up by EUR 119 million year-on-year.
Exports in June amounted to EUR 9.573 bln, while imports totaled EUR 8.502 bln. Some 81% of exports and 77% of imports were traded with other European Union member states.
In January-June, exports were up 4.9% annually at EUR 53.388 bln, while imports rose 6.3% to EUR 49.098 bln. The trade surplus in the first half of the year was thus EUR 4.290 bln, down by EUR 432 mln from the first half of last year.
Cited by state news wire MTI, analyst Gergely Suppan of TakarékBank said the June trade surplus was significantly higher than expected. For the year as a whole, he predicted that the surplus could still shrink by EUR 600 mln to EUR 7.48 bln, somewhat slowing down GDP growth. The effect could be still less than in 2017, when the trade surplus narrowed by EUR 1.6 bln, he added.
K&H Bankʼs chief analyst Dávid Németh observed that although export growth surpassed import growth in June, this could prove temporary as growing household consumption, investments and import purchases needed for exports all push import growth higher.
A second estimate of data for the external trade in goods in June will be published by the KSH on August 31.