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Trade surplus reaches EUR 382 mln in January

In euro terms, exports increased by 6.4% and imports grew by 9.7% in January 2019, compared to January 2018, shows a first estimate of monthly data for the external trade in goods from the Central Statistical Office (KSH).

The surplus was down by EUR 225 mln year-on-year, noted the KSH.

In absolute terms in January 2019, the value of exports amounted to EUR 8.993 billion, while imports totaled EUR 8.611 bln.

The share of European Union Member States was 82% in exports and 71% in imports.

Responding to the data announcement, Erste Bank analyst Orsolya Nyeste noted that the trade surplus continued to narrow in January as import growth outpaced export growth. She forecast that the full-year surplus could fall to EUR 4-4.5 bln for 2019, down from EUR 5.56 bln in 2018.

TakarékBank analyst Gergely Suppan argued that new export capacities inaugurated this year would counter, in part, the worsening growth outlook for Europe. He put the 2019 trade surplus at EUR 5.3 bln.

A second, more detailed estimate of data for the external trade in goods in January 2019 will be published on April 1.