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Hungarian June Industrial Output Grows on Exports

Aug. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Hungary’s industrial output rose for a sixth month in June as rising export demand helped the country exit from its worst recession since 1991.

Production advanced 12.6 percent from a year earlier after a revised 13.8 percent in May, the statistics office said in a preliminary report today. The median estimate of three economists in a Bloomberg survey was 13.1 percent. Output rose 0.9 percent in the month.

The first European Union member to get an International Monetary Fund-led bailout in 2008, Hungary cut spending to meet the terms of its loan. The measures damped local demand and the country is looking to the euro region, which buys 60 percent of products made or assembled in Hungary such as Audi cars and Nokia phones, to support its recovery.

“The growth in industrial output was driven mainly by export demand,” Janos Samu, an economist at Concorde Securities in Budapest, wrote in an e-mail. “The future of Hungarian industrial activity is tied to German industrial activity.”

The forint fell 0.2 percent to 281.21 per euro as of 10:28 a.m. in Budapest. The benchmark BUX stock index declined 1.1 percent to 23,154.84.

Hungary Exits Recession

Hungary exited its recession in the fourth quarter of 2009 and growth accelerated in the first three months of this year.

The economy shrank 6.3 percent last year as exporters including the local units of Alcoa Inc. and Suzuki Motor Corp. scaled back output to cope with faltering global demand. The central bank expects gross domestic product to grow 0.9 percent this year.

In the first half, output expanded 9 percent, compared with a decline of 22.5 percent in the same period last year. Today’s data suggest that second-quarter annual economic growth may have been 1 percent, according to Samu at Concorde. The statistics office will release the figures on Aug. 13.

“This figure is favorable, however it still can’t compensate for previous years’ decline triggered by the economic crisis,” statistician Miklos Schindele told reporters. “Growth was almost exclusively fuelled by exports. The rise in domestic demand seen last month doesn’t seem to be continuing.”

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