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April Lockdown Causes Export and Import to Plunge

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.07.02.

A lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus caused double-digit declines in Hungary’s exports and imports in April, a second reading of data released by the Central Statistical Office (KSH) on Thursday shows.

Exports fell by 37.2 percent year-on-year to 5.620 billion euros, while imports dropped 29.1 percent to 6.181 billion euros.

The unusual and sizable 561 million euro trade deficit – albeit narrower than the 611 million euro gap in the first reading – was likely partly the result of imports of goods for pandemic defense. Hungary’s government had spent almost 400 billion forints (EUR 1.1bn) to acquire supplies such as personal protective equipment and ventilators between the start of the pandemic and the end of April.

For the period January-April, exports fell by 9.2 percent year-on-year to 33.339 billion euros and imports dropped 7.6 percent to 32.045 billion euros.

The January-April trade surplus stood at 1.294 billion euros, well under the 2.032 billion euro surplus in the same period a year earlier.

Featured photo illustration by Csaba Krizsán/MTI