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Trade surplus narrows to EUR 51 mln in August

In euro terms, exports increased by 0.9% and imports grew by 6.1% in August 2018 compared to the same month of the previous year, according to a first estimate of monthly data for the external trade in goods from the Central Statistical Office (KSH).

In August 2018, the value of imports totaled EUR 7.930 billion, while exports amounted to EUR 7.981 bln.  The trade surplus was thus EUR 51 million in August, narrowing by EUR 381 mln from August 2017.

The share of trade with other European Union Member States was 80% in exports and 73% in imports.

For the period January-August 2018, imports were up 6.7% at EUR 65.166 bln, while exports increased 5.1% to EUR 69.799 bln.  The eight-month trade surplus thus came to EUR 4.633 bln, dropping by EUR 699 mln from the first eight months of 2017.

Speaking to state news wire MTI, TakarékBank analyst András Horváth said import growth was lifted by a big increase in investments, higher consumption and a buildup of inventories. He forecast the full-year trade surplus at EUR 7.2 bln, about EUR 850 mln below last yearʼs surplus.

Erste Bank analyst Orsolya Nyeste said the surplus was less than expected in August, but in line with the overall trend that shows growth driven by consumption and investments.

A second estimate for the external trade in goods in August 2018 will be published on November 5, with a first estimate of September external trade figures following on November 9.