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Stats Office: Hungary’s Foreign Trade Volume Broke Records Last Year

By Tamás Székely // 2017.01.10.

Hungary’s exports and foreign trade surplus were record high last year, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said commenting on data released by the Central Statistical Office.



Over the first eleven months of the year, exports were 2.7% higher than in 2015, the previous record year, Szijjártó told a press conference. Hungary also registered a record high foreign trade surplus during the period, exceeding the previous record surplus posted in 2015 by 1.5 billion euros, he said. The minister noted that the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA) had brokered a record 71 investments last year, worth approximately 3.25 billion euros, also a record. These investments created a total of 17,647 jobs. Szijjártó said that Hungary had recently reached deals on three major projects with foreign investors. Two of the three projects will each create over 1,000 jobs and one will create some 1,000 workplaces. The projects are in the automotive, electronics and service sectors, he added, without revealing any further details. Announcements on the projects will be made soon, he said.

The Central Statistical Office (KSH) also reported that Hungary recorded a 908 million euro trade surplus in November, up by 130 million euros from a year earlier. Exports rose by 5.8% to 8.583 billion euros and imports were up by 4.6% at 7.675 billion euros. The trade surplus came to 9.452 billion euros for January-November. Exports rose by 2.7% to 85.983 billion euros during the period. Imports increased by 1.0% to 76.531 billion euros.

Analyst Péter Virovácz of ING Bank said that although detailed data are not available, the trade surplus in the first 11 months of last year had already surpassed that of 2015, meaning foreign trade could have supported economic growth more strongly in 2016 than before. Gergely Suppan of Takarékbank said he expected export growth to continue in the coming months as weaker industrial performance should be temporary and European business confidence indicators also point to expansion. He said the fullyear trade surplus could come close to 10 billion euros in 2016, predicting a trade surplus of around 8.7 billion euros for 2017.

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