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Analysts predict faster import growth in H1

Analysts polled by MTI predicted faster import growth in the second half of the year and a foreign trade surplus of around €5 billion at year-end.

The Central Statistical Office (KSH) reported that the foreign trade surplus was €653 million (HUF 172 billion) in March according to preliminary figures, with the balance improving €167 million (HUF 25 billion) yr/yr. Exports rose 17.8% and imports grew 16% in euro terms from March last year.

Gergely Suppan of Takarékbank said the surplus was no surprise, but its size exceeded expectations. Takarékbank had predicted a surplus of €510 million for March.

Zsolt Kondrát of MKB Bank said the March surplus was not very surprising as the bank had forecast a surplus of €696 million.

Both analysts agreed that it will still take some time for domestic consumption to pick up, while external markets have already started to recover. They said the difference between import growth and export growth will narrow further in the second half of the year.

Both analysts predicted an annual foreign trade surplus of €5 billion in 2010. (MTI – Econews)