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Industrial Output Climbs 5.4pc in December (Adds KSH Comments, Analysts)

MTI-Hungary Today 2019.02.07.

Hungary’s industrial output rose 5.4 percent year on year in December, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said in a first reading of data on Thursday.

Adjusted for the number of workdays in the month, industrial output increased 5.7 percent.

In a month-on-month comparison, output was up a seasonally and workday-adjusted 2.5 percent.

For the full year, industrial output rose by 3.6 percent.

KSH said most branches of the manufacturing sector had contributed to the December growth. Output of the biggest branch, vehicle manufacturing, rose at a faster pace than in the previous month. Output of the computer, electronics and optical equipment branch expanded significantly, while output of the food, drink and tobacco branch rose to a smaller degree, KSH said.

KSH will publish a second reading of the data on February 13.

ING Bank chief analyst Péter Virovácz said the December increase was higher than expected, especially in light of seasonal shutdowns. Industrial output growth could reach 4 to 5 percent in 2019, though weaker output in Germany and a slowdown of global growth are downside risks, he added.

Takarékbank analyst Gergely Suppan also said the high December growth was a positive surprise and may have lifted Q4 GDP growth to 5 percent. The introduction of new car models and added manufacturing sector capacities, along with robust domestic demand, could raise industrial output growth to 4.8 percent this year, he added.