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Hungary’s trade surplus widens to €653 mln in March

Hungary had a €653 million trade surplus in March 2010, well up from a €373 million trade surplus in February and a €486 million surplus a year earlier, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said in a first reading.

Both export and import growth slowed slightly from February. Exports continued to rise slightly faster than imports.

Hungary posted a €1.317 billion trade surplus in the first three months of 2010, up sharply from a €582 million surplus a year earlier.

Hungary has had a trade surplus each month since February 2009 as the crisis reduced imports even more than exports, and posted a full-year surplus of €3.98 billion in 2009.

Exports rose 17.8% in twelve months to €6.141 billion in March 2010 and imports rose 16.0% to €5.488 billion in the period. The pace of growth slowed slightly although the base was higher than in February - both March 2009 exports and imports declined less yr/yr than they did in February 2009.

77% of Hungary's March exports went into the European Union and 69% of March imports came from EU members.

January-February exports rose 16.9% to €16.175 billion and two-month imports rose 12.1% to 14.859 billion.

Exports rose in euro terms from a year earlier for the fourth month in a row after uninterrupted declines between October 2008 and November 2009.

Euro-term imports rose for the third month in March after steady twelve-month declines between November 2008 and December 2009.

2009 exports fell 18.9% in euro terms and imports were down 24.7% from 2008.

KSH will publish a second reading of March external trade figures, including details on June 2. (MTI – Econews)