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Hungary’s Fourth-Quarter Current Account Surplus Shrinks

Hungary’s fourth-quarter current-account surplus shrank from the previous three months to the smallest since the last quarter of 2009.

The current-account showed a surplus of 149 million euros ($199 million), compared with a revised 439 million euros in the previous three months and a revised 226 million euros a year earlier, the Magyar Nemzeti Bank said today. The seasonally adjusted current-account surplus was 306 million euros, the central bank said.

Hungary’s current-account balance has been improving as the economy recovers from a contraction of 6.7 percent in 2009, its worst in 18 years, which sapped consumer demand and reduced industrial output. The government expects a surplus of more than 2 percent of gross domestic product in 2012, Economy Minister Gyorgy Matolcsy said on Sept. 30.

The surplus was 1.4 billion euros in 2011, compared with 1.2 billion euros a year earlier, according to preliminary data. Hungary’s net external financing capacity, or the combined surplus of the current and capital accounts, was an adjusted 3.8 percent of GDP in the fourth quarter.

The country had a surplus of 1.5 billion euros in the trade of goods and services, down from 1.8 billion euros in the previous quarter while the surplus on services declined to 689 million euros from 989 million euros. The drop in services income was largely the result of a seasonal decline in tourism, Zsuzsa Fekete, head of balance of payments statistics at the bank told reporters.

Current transfers from the EU had a surplus of 417 million euros.

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