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Hungary trade balance returns to surplus in November

Hungary's trade balance returned to a surplus in November, a first reading of data by the Central Statistical Office (KSH) on Monday shows.

Hungary, an export-driven economy where trade surpluses are the norm, had trade deficits every month since July. In November, the trade balance showed a surplus of 81 million euros.

Exports rose by 7.7 percent year-on-year to 11.113 billion euros and imports climbed 13.6 percent to 11.033 billion euros.

Trade with other European Union member states accounted for 77 percent of Hungary’s exports and 72 percent of its imports.

For the period January-November, exports increased by 13.2 percent year-on-year to 109.255 billion euros and imports rose by 17.2 percent to 106.895 billion euros. The trade surplus reached 2.360 billion euros, narrowing from 5.339 billion euros in the same period a year earlier.

Takarekbank chief analyst Gergely Suppan said growing industrial output, especially in the automotive segment, led to growing exports in November, but the global chip shortage still had an effect. Imports rose mainly on investment demand and higher prices for raw materials and energy. The trade surplus probably fell to around 2 billion euros in 2021 from 5.62 billion in 2020 and the surplus should continue to fall in H1 2022. This year’s outlook is surrounded by major uncertainties because of supply chain disruptions and price fluctuations, he added.

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