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Thursday, November 09, 2006

September Trade Deficit

Hungary's trade deficit in September was €116 million, or €6 million more than in same month a year earlier. The trend over the first 9 months of the year is however downward, but the September data point still indicates how dependent the future evolution of the balance of trade is on the relative evolution of import and export prices.

Hungary's trade deficit was €116 million in September 2006, €6 million more than in same month a year earlier, according to a first estimate published by the Central Statistics Office (KSH) on Thursday.

The January-September trade deficit was €1.795 billion according to the preliminary figures, still €377 million less than in the same period of 2005. September exports totaled €5.185 billion, up 6.6% from a year earlier. Imports grew by 6.5% in twelve months to €5.301 billion in September. The pace of both exports and imports dropped considerably from August when euro-term exports rose 15.3% and imports rose 9.4% year-on-year. Nine-month exports rose 14.8% year-on-year to €41.794 billion, and nine-month imports rose 13% year-on-year to €43.590 billion. European Union member countries had a 74% share in Hungary's exports and a 68% share of its imports in September, KSH said. KSH will publish detailed and revised September trade figures on December 1.

Update: Portfolio.hu has some more instant analysis on this:

Both exports and imports slowed considerably in September to 6.6% yr/yr and 6.5% yr/yr, respectively. In August both figures were still above 10% yr/yr....."The YTD improvement of the trade balance is on the back of strong export results and partly on weak HUF in those months."

It is very hard to call this situation at the present time, but if the eurozone economy is slowing, and all the indications are that it is, then raising those export numbers in a weak external environment may be quite uphill work in 2007.

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