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Hungary's industrial output up 1% in December, down 17.7% in 2009

Hungary's industrial output rose an unadjusted 1% and was down a workday-adjusted 1.4% in the twelve months to December 2009, unchanged from a first reading, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said.

Unadjusted output as well as export sales rose year-on-year (yr/yr) for the first time since September 2008, and the adjusted twelve-month drop slowed sharply further, though to a large part on base effects.

An adjusted monthly comparison shows big drops of output, domestic and export sales for the second month in a row. And the December twelve-month changes came from a low base as output and sales dropped at around 20% yr/yr in December 2008.

The unadjusted twelve-month decline in industrial output, exports and domestic sales was uninterrupted between October 2008 and November 2009, and the workday-adjusted figures shown that a steady fall of output and exports started as early as July 2009.

Full-year output dropped 17.7% in 2009 after no change in 2008. The contraction was the steepest since a 18.4% output drop in 1991. The figure is unchanged from the preliminary one reported on February 5.

In a seasonally- and calendar-adjusted month-on-month comparison, industrial output fell 5.8% in December, slightly more than a 5.7% decline in the first reading. The December drop was the steepest monthly drop registered in 2009.

2009 exports contracted 18.7% and domestic sales fell 12.6% last year, KSH said. In 2008, export sales rose a slight 0.1% after double-digit growth between 2003 and 2007. Domestic sales fell 0.6% in 2008 in the first drop since a 1.5% decline in 2004.

Of total output, manufacturing sector output fell 18.4% in volume terms in 2009 after a 0.6% drop in 2008. Manufacturing exports fell 18.9% last year and domestic sales fell almost 15%.

Export sales increased 5.4% in the twelve months to December, in the first rise since September 2008 according to unadjusted figures and rose 2.7% according to calendar-adjusted figures. In the adjusted comparison, export rose on the year for the first time since June 2008. The drop of adjusted twelve-month exports has slowed since a 28.8% contraction in April 2009. KSH noted that exports fell at a declining rate each quarter, and they contracted less than 5% yr/yr in Q4.

December manufacturing sector exports rose 6.4% yr/yr, as exports of computers, electronics and optical products rose 13.3% in the first rise of 2009, and vehicle exports rose 15.5%, KSH said.

Domestic sales in December were down an unadjusted 9.9% and an adjusted 11.2% in twelve months. Domestic sales of the manufacturing sector fell 10.3%.

In an adjusted monthly comparison, exports fell 4.6% and domestic sales fell 3.9% from November. Exports contracted on the month in November-December after six months of steady increases. Domestic sales also fell for the second month though their decline slowed from 5.7% in November.

Output per head fell 7.l% in 2009 from the previous year as employment fell 11.5% in the period, KSH said based on data from business employing at least five people. (MTI – Econews)