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Trade Balance Confirmed to Have Dipped into Deficit in December

  • Hungary had a EUR 271m trade deficit in December, the first negative balance in close to a year, a second reading of data released by the statistics office confirmed. Exports slipped 9.1% y/y while imports dropped 9.0% y/y. The statistics office noted that energy imports had climbed 56.8% in December on the back of higher deliveries of gas, while exports of machinery and transport equipment fell 12.7%.
  • Meanwhile, Hungary's manufacturing PMI rose to 52.2 in February from a revised 50.1 in January (Est: 49.0), according to Halpim. Among the sub-indices, the new orders index rose and was over the 50-point mark, as was the production volume index. The employment index fell and indicated a contraction.
  • Speaking at an event yesterday evening, finance minister Varga said the government expects GDP to grow 3-4% this year, adding that growth could be aided with the tools of tax policy, MTI report. Varga said the budget had "adapted well" in recent years but conceded that the 2023 budget deficit was expected to be over the target because of the higher cost of debt servicing and dearer energy.
  • Prime Minister Orban will speak at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Turkey about foreign policy at 15:45GMT/16:45CET. There are no other major economic releases on the docket for the remainder of the day, with the final reading of Q4-2023 GDP, CPI, industrial production, retail sales and trade balance figures all set to cross next wee

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