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Drop in March industrial output could augur GDP fall in Q1

A drop in industrial output in March could point to an economic contraction for the first quarter, analysts told MTI on Tuesday, after the Central Statistics Office (KSH) published fresh data. Hungary's unadjusted industrial output declined 1.6% in March from the same month a year earlier, KSH said in the morning. Adjusted for number of workdays, output edged up 0.6%. Orsolya Nyeste of Erste Bank said the decline in output in March and for the quarter could augur a fall in GDP for the period. She added that the eurozone PMI had reached a nearly three-year low in April and PMI in Germany, Hungary's biggest export market, had plunged for the second month in a row. She said the start of production at German carmaker Daimler's plant in the Hungarian city of Kecskemet could boost industrial output data in April, but she put industrial output growth for the full year at 2-2.5%. Zsolt Kondrat put full-year growth at just 1.5-2%. Not much more can be expected with German orders down, Hungary's April PMI at 47 and the index showing a drop in new orders for the third time in 2012, he added. Kondrat estimated Hungary's economy contracted by 1.1% in Q1.