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March trade surplus bigger than expected

Hungary's trade surplus was bigger than expected in March, analysts told MTI on Tuesday, after the Central Statistics Office (KSH) published fresh data.

Hungary's trade surplus reached €831.1 million in March, a hair over the €831.0 million record in February, KSH said early Tuesday.

Gergely Suppán of TakarékBank noted that the value of exports also reached a record high in March. The year-on-year surplus is likely to grow at a slower pace in the second half of the year as domestic demand picks up, he said.

Even as domestic demand grows in the coming years, the negative effect on the trade balance could be countered by a pickup in the automotive industry, he added.

The big trade surplus serves as a buffer for the forint against a deterioration in sentiment on global markets, he said.

Erste Bank's Zoltán Árokszállasi said the surplus was well over his estimate of €735 million. The full-year surplus could exceed €6 billion he added.

He, too, noted that domestic demand had still not found its way onto the upward path.