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Hungary’s Rába may cut working hours in Q2 –report

  Hungarian vehicle parts maker Rába may curb working hours throughout the second quarter as there is no firm recovery in orders in sight, its chief executive was quoted as saying on Monday.

Rába, which stopped production for three weeks in December and has laid off its temporary labor force, announced last month it would shift to a four-day workweek until April 30.

However, with more pain expected in its main markets, Rába may decide to maintain 32 to 36-hour workweeks throughout the Q2, CEO István Pintér was quoted by news portal www.kisalfold.hu as saying. The company’s press office confirmed the report, adding that for the time being there was no firm decision on reducing working hours.

Hungary’s industrial output plunged in December as companies like Rába, Suzuki and Germany’s Audi, cut production. The broader economy is expected to fall into a recession of up to 3.5% this year according to the government’s forecast.

Pintér said the company expects the first signs of recovery to come in the United States, one of its key markets, in the second half of the year, while prospects in Europe remain bleak for the rest of the year. At 1113 GMT Rába’s shares were up 8.9% at HUF 610 (€2) on the Budapest Stock Exchange, outperforming a 1% decline in the general market index. (Reuters)