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UPDATE - Hungary trade growth slows, surplus widens in September

Hungary had a €741.5m trade surplus in September, up from €501.2m in August and from €506.6m in the same month a year earlier, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said on Wednesday.

The surplus was the second-biggest - after a surplus in November 2010 - since Hungary started running trade surpluses in February 2009.

Both export and import growth slowed in euro terms in September after reaching the double digits in August. Exports and imports rose at double digit rates until May before the pace of growth slowed sharply in June and July. The pace of export growth in September was again well over that of import growth after both exports and import rose at a similar pace in August. The pattern was similar to 2010, when the pace of trade growth slowed in September after robust growth in August.

Exports rose 8.1% year-on-year to €7.149bn in September. Growth slowed from 13.0% in August, but was over the 5.8% increase in July.

Imports increased 5.0% to €6.407bn in September. The pace of growth slowed from 13.1% in August but accelerated from 2.5% in July.

Hungary had a €5.452bn surplus in January-September, up €1.517bn from the same period a year earlier. Exports were up 15.0% at €59.596bn. Imports climbed 13.0% to €54.144bn.

About 76% of Hungary’s exports went to other European Union members in September and 72% of imports were from other EU countries.

KSH will publish a second reading of the data on December 2.