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Hungary PMI drops to 54.4 in March

Hungary's seasonally-adjusted Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) dropped 1.6 points to 54.4 in March from February , indicating that growth continued at a slower rate in the manufacturing sector, the Hungarian Association of Logistics, Purchasing and Inventory Management (Halpim), which publishes the index, said.

The index indicated growth in the sector now for the third month after a continuous contraction between August 2008 and December 2009.

An index above 50 indicates a pick-up in manufacturing activity, while a figure below 50 shows contraction.

The unadjusted index rose further, to 57.1 from 55.3 in February.

Of the five PMI sub-indices, delivery time and purchased stock was below 50 in March. The former dropped 4.4 to 44.3, showing a further lengthening of delivery periods. After indicating no change in February, the purchased stock index dropped a sharp 8.8 to 41.2.

Of the other three indices, the index of production volume dropped 2.6 from February but its high value of 60.2 still indicated strong growth.

New orders rose even more sharply than they did in February as the sub-index rose 2.1 to 62.2 in March.

Employment in the sector rose further, albeit at a slowing rate with the respective index down 1.3 to 51.5 in March.

The 2009 deficit exceeded the 2008 shortfall by HUF 30 billion or by 0.2 percentage points as revenues fell slightly more than expenditure did.

After a 6% rise in 2008, general government revenues fell 0.9% to HUF 11,950 billion last year. General government expenditure, yet rising 3% in 2008, fell 0.6% in 2009 to HUF 12,985 billion.

In Q4 alone, the deficit came to HUF 284.5 billion, reaching 4.3% of quarterly GDP as revenues fell 2.8% from Q4 2008 and expenditure fell a sharp 9.4%, reflecting the elimination of annual bonus payments, worth a 13th-month wage, paid out in the public sector earlier by year-end. (MTI – Econews)