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Trade surplus shrinks to EUR 496 mln in November

The surplus in the external trade in goods amounted to EUR 496 million in November 2018, with exports increasing by 4.7% and imports rising by 7.3% in the month in euro terms, compared to the same month of 2017, shows a first reading of data released by the Central Statistical Office (KSH) on Wednesday.

The surplus of external trade in goods decreased by EUR 186 mln year-on-year in November. In absolute terms, the value of exports amounted to EUR 9.484 bln, while the value of imports totaled EUR 8.988 bln in November.

The share of trade with other EU member states came to 82% in exports, and 75% in imports.

In January-November 2018, exports were up 4.5% annually at EUR 97.4 bln, while imports rose 7% to EUR 91.740 bn. The trade surplus for the first 11 months thus amounted to EUR 5.66 bln, narrowing by EUR 1.846 bln from the corresponding period of 2017.

Reacting to the latest figures, K&H Bankʼs senior analyst Dávid Németh was cited by state news wire MTI as saying that the narrowing surplus is in line with the trend in previous months. Import growth, lifted by rising investments and strong domestic consumption, is outpacing the increase in exports, he explained, adding that the surplus could continue to narrow in 2019.

Erste Bankʼs chief analyst Orsolya Nyeste said the surplus could continue to shrink as strong domestic demand supports import growth, while the outlook for exports becomes more uncertain on deteriorating prospects for Hungaryʼs biggest export markets.

The KSH will publish a second, more detailed reading of the November data on February 1.