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Hungary new industrial orders rise 25.6% in January

Hungarian manufacturing companies received 25.6% more orders in January 2011 than a year earlier as new export orders rose 26.7% and new domestic orders rose 16.6% from January 2010, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) reported.

New export orders rose more than in December and new domestic orders after a yr/yr decline in December, which came after eight months of increases.

The rise in overall new orders came from a low base as the volume fell 7.4% in January 2010 after a rise -- the first rise since July 2008 -- in December 2009. New industrial orders have risen steadily, mostly by double-digit rates, since February 2010.

A 3.2% yr/yr fall of new domestic orders in December proved temporary. Except for December, new domestic contracts have been up from year earlier levels since last April after an almost continuous drop in the previous three years.

The rise in new export orders picked up from a 15.1% yr/yr rise in December, although the fluctuation of the pace could reflect base effects for both months. After a drop in January 2010, export orders grew at double-digit yr/yr rates for most of last year. The increases followed steady yr/yr declines between August 2008 and November 2009.

The steep rise in new orders brought the total stock of orders at the end of January to 12.4% above its level of twelve months earlier. The yr/yr rise in the total stock was the second-consecutive rise following steady yr/yr drops since October 2008. The stock of domestic orders still lagged 6.5% behind their level one year earlier, while the stock of export orders exceeded their respective levels of twelve months earlier by 2.8%.

The total domestic order stock dipped below its year-earlier level in April 2009, and has stayed there since. The January drop lessened, however, from a 27.9% fall in December 2010 and was the second smallest in the period.

With the exception of last August and last December, the total stock of export orders has been up yr/yr since December 2009 after steady yr/yr declines between November 2008 and June 2010.

Reflecting a double-digit rise in output, output per employee at businesses with a staff of at least five rose 8.2% in January 2011 from the same period a year earlier, despite a 5.1% rise in headcount. KSH noted that the number of employees yet fell 10.3% yr/yr in January 2010.