Hungary’s industrial sector increased by an annual 22.0 percent in June, albeit from a low base, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said in a first reading of data on Friday.
All branches of manufacturing contributed to the increase, KSH said. At the same time, growth slowed “significantly” in the vehicle manufacturing segment and to a lesser degree in the computer, electronics and optical equipment as well as the food, drink and tobacco products segments, the statement said.
Adjusted for workday effects, industrial output increased by 18.6 percent.
In a month-on-month comparison, output edged down a seasonally- and workday-adjusted 0.3 percent.
Commenting on the data, László György, a state secretary of the innovation and technology ministry, said the sector’s V-shaped recovery showed the Hungarian economy’s competitiveness. “Industrial output was at a record low last year, during the pandemic, and has shown record growth in the past six months,” he said. While the Hungarian output was average in European comparison last year, it is expected to top most EU countries again in 2021, he said.
Analysts told MTI that the industrial output had a strong impact on Hungary’s second quarter GDP growth rate.
Gergely Suppan, the chief analyst of Takarékbank, said industrial output had recovered from the slowdown caused by the pandemic as early as last October. He said he expected industrial output to keep growing over the coming months with support from the installation of new capacities. Suppan forecast full-year industrial output growth of around 15 percent this year, followed by a growth rate above 8 percent in 2022.
Péter Virovácz of ING Bank said industrial output in the second quarter was up by around 0.6 percent compared with the first quarter. He said Hungary was likely to see only moderate industrial output growth until the problems with supply chains and the procurement of raw materials are resolved.
Gábor Regős of Századvég Gazdaságkutató said that though Hungary’s industrial output now exceeded pre-crisis levels, the June data was slightly below expectations. He said the industrial sector would contribute significantly to Hungary’s economic recovery.
Featured photo illustration by Zsolt Czeglédi/MTI