Hungary had a trade surplus of €456.9m in December up from €301.3m in the same month a year earlier, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said in a first reading on Wednesday.
The trade surplus for the full year in 2010 came to €5.55 billion up from €3.74 billion in the previous year.
In December, exports came to €5.89 billion, up 21.4% from the same month a year earlier. Imports climbed 19.4% to €5.43 billion. Both exports and imports rose more rapidly than in the previous three months. Export growth surpassed import growth now for the second month.
Exports increased 21.0% to €71.55 billion for the full year. Imports were up 19.1% at €66.0 billion. The European Union had a 73% share in Hungary's exports and a 66% share in its imports in December.
Hungary's industrial output fell 11.8% month-on-month in December, KSH said on Tuesday.
Erste Bank Hungary analyst Zoltan Arokszallasi said the surplus was bigger than the €420m expected. The data show the big 12% month-on-month drop in industrial output in December can be attributed to one-off factors, he added.
Arokszallasi put the full-year trade surplus at €4.5 billion-5 billion in 2011, under the €5.5 billion surplus for 2010.
Takarek Bank's Gergely Suppan said the 21% rise in exports in December came as a pleasant surprise after the worse-than-expected industrial output data. He put the trade surplus for 2011 at €5.7 billion-5.8 billion.
KSH will publish a second reading of December and 2010 figures, including details and volume changes on March 4. (Econews)