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Pick-up in imports does not signal change of trend

Hungary's imports rose at a slightly faster rate than exports in May, for the first time since January 2009, but this does not show a turnaround, an analyst told MTI on Friday, after the Central Statistics Office (KSH) published fresh data.

Hungary had a €424 million trade surplus in May, KSH said in a second reading in the morning. The figure was revised downward by a slight €5 million from the first reading published on July 9.

Gergely Suppán of Takarékbank said higher import growth was caused not by an increase in domestic consumption, but by exporting companies building up inventories. Hungary's exports to Asia grew almost 50% in January-May from the same period a year earlier, showing the country is benefiting from growth in the region, he added.

Suppán put Hungary's full-year trade surplus at about €5 billion.

Mátyás Kovács of Raiffeisen Bank said the fresh data was in line with expectations. This year's trade surplus will be little changed from last year's, he added. (MTI-ECONEWS)