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Analysts blame ‘lower-than-expected’ trade surplus on European slowdown

Analysts polled by MTI on Friday attributed Hungary’s less-than-expected trade surplus in June to a slowdown on European markets.

Hungary posted a €100 million trade surplus in June, down €37 million from the surplus in the same month a year earlier. Exports grew 7.6% in June and imports increased 8.4%.

Erste Bank’s Orsolya Nyeste said the surplus was lower than expected, but, seen as a whole, the trade figures are not all that bad. The only worrying indicator could be import growth, which surpassed export growth for the first time in 15 months. The trade futures, just as industrial output figure published earlier in the week, reflect the slowdown in Europe, she said.

ING Bank’s Dávid Németh said Hungary’s export growth could remain under 10% as import growth exceeds export growth in the coming months. But this comes as no surprise as domestic demand picks up and state investments grow, he added.

Considering the state of the global economy, Hungary is still in a better position than other countries, such as Slovakia, where the country’s automotive industry is feeling the full force of the global slowdown, Németh said. The effect is limited on two of Hungary’s main exporting sectors: the drug and mobile phone industries. Németh estimated Hungary’s economy grew 1.6% in the Q2. He projected full-year GDP growth of 2.1%. (MTI-Econews)