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Trade surplus grows to EUR 891 mln in February

Hungary had an EUR 891 million trade surplus in February, widening by EUR 49 mln from the same month a year earlier, shows a first reading of data for the external trade in goods released by the Central Statistical Office (KSH) on Monday.

The value of exports rose 6.9% year-on-year to EUR 9.117 bln during February, while imports increased 7.0% to EUR 8.226 bln.

Trade with other European Union member states accounted for 82% of exports and 76% of imports.

In January-February, exports rose 6.7% compared to the first two months of 2018, to EUR 18.121 bln, while imports increased 8.4% to EUR 16.838 bln. The surplus thus narrowed by EUR 166 mln to EUR 1.283 bln.

Speaking to state news agency MTI, TakarékBank analyst Gergely Suppan predicted a full-year trade surplus of EUR 5.2 bln, down from EUR 5.6 bln in 2018.

Erste Bank junior analyst Zsombor Varga attributed the February rebound to the recovery of the industrial sector. For the full year, Ersteʼs analysts forecast a trade surplus of EUR 4-4.5 bln. In 2020, the surplus could start widening again thanks to new export capacities, the analyst added.

The KSH will publish a second, more detailed reading of the monthly data on May 2.