Industrial output in Hungary grew by an annual 8 percent in March, according to both unadjusted and working day-adjusted data, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said in a first reading of data on Wednesday.
In a month-on-month comparison, industrial output was up 1 percent, based on seasonally and working day-adjusted data.
The pace of growth accelerated in vehicle manufacturing, but slowed slightly in the computer, electronics and optical products segment in March, KSH said. In the food, drink and tobacco products segment, output growth was close to the headline figure, it added.
In the first three months of the year, industrial output was up 6.2 percent from a year earlier.
Analyst Orsolya Nyeste of Erste Bank said the first-quarter data suggest that the industrial sector must have made a strong contribution to GDP growth in spite of the slowdown on key export markets. This means that the performance of Hungary’s industry has proved resilient against a less favourable global environment. She said she expects to see a slow improvement on main export markets from the second quarter and industrial performance should be supported by external factors as well in the remaining part of the year.
Gergely Suppan of Takarékbank said the installation of new manufacturing capacities and the launch of production of new models could give further momentum to industrial output this year. Among downside risks, he listed the deteriorating European business trend, the slowdown in global and Chinese economic growth, and indirect effects from uncertainty resulting from Brexit. Suppan forecast industrial output growth of about 6 percent for the full year 2019 compared with 3.6 percent last year.