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Analysts see Hungarian trade surplus growing further

Hungary's trade surplus is likely to grow further because of the drop in domestic demand and a stabilization on export markets, analysts told MTI, after the Central Statistical Office (KSH) confirmed the country's surplus rose in May.

Hungary had a foreign trade surplus of €480 million in May compared to a deficit of €30 million in the same month a year earlier, KSH said in a second reading in the morning. The five-month surplus rose to €1.53 billion from just €301 million a year earlier.

MKB Bank's chief analyst Zsolt Kondrát said the May data shows the trend seen over the past months is continuing: the trade surplus is widening as import drops on narrowing domestic demand and exports drop on declining external demand. The drop in domestic demand was even bigger than expected, which supports the outlook for the growing trade surplus, he added.

Energy import volume was unchanged, but falling prices caused them to drop HUF 158 billion in value terms, Kondrát said. Manufactured goods, food, drink and tobacco products also contributed to the surplus, he added.

K&H Bank chief analyst György Barcza said the firming forint had not affected the basic trend: the trade balance continued to improve in May although the forint has strengthened since March. The question is whether the forint -- which has continued to firm -- will affect the trend in the months that follow, he added.

Imports will probably continue to slow at a faster rate than exports in the coming months, Barcza said. (MTI – Econews)