Hungary: Industrial Production Continues to Shrink

Published: March 14, 2013; 18:12 · (Vindobona)

In January 2013, industrial gross output was down by 1.4% year-on-year.

Hungary: Industrial Production Continues to Shrink / Picture: ©

This decrease mainly resulted from a drop in demand for communication equipment, consumer electronics and fuels, which was not offset by an output increase in the manufacture of transport equipment, either.

The index adjusted for working days was equal to the non-adjusted one. The volume of industrial production in January – according to seasonally and working-day adjusted indices – was above the level of the previous month by 2.9%.

Industrial export sales rose by 2.8% year-on-year in January. Out of the two manufacturing subsections giving almost half of export sales, the export of transport equipment, representing nearly one third of manufacturing exports, increased remarkably by 18.5%. Contrary to this, the manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products – the other significant subsection accounting for almost one fifth of manufacturing exports – fell considerably by 17.2% in export volume.

Industrial domestic sales practically remained stagnant in January, while the domestic sales of manufacturing were 3.7% lower year-on-year.

Out of the sections of industry, output dropped year-on-year by 1.6% in manufacturing and by 16% in the ‘small weight’ mining and quarrying in the first month of 2013. The output of energy industry (electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning supply) declined by 2.5%.

In January 2013, increases were observed in only five of the thirteen subsections of manufacturing.

Out of subsections with a significant weight, the manufacture of transport equipment, representing more than one fourth of manufacturing, grew by 16.8% in volume, primarily because of the better utilization of the production capacities. There was no trend change in the subsection with the second largest weight: the manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products also declined in January – at the highest rate of 17.7% among the subsections –, mainly as a result of a drop in demand for communication equipment and consumer electronics. The third largest subsection, the manufacture of food products, beverages and tobacco products (accounting for almost one ninth of manufacturing) essentially remained unchanged year-on-year. The growth rate picked up in the manufacture of chemicals and chemical products: the volume of production rose by an outstanding 20.7%, mainly due to the manufacture of plastics in primary forms. The considerable fall continued in the manufacture of coke, and refined petroleum products: the output was 17.6% lower than a year ago, mainly as a result of a fall in domestic sales.

In January 2013, total new orders in the observed branches of manufacturing declined by 3.2% compared to the same month of 2012. The volume of new export orders decreased by 4.4%, while that of new domestic orders grew by 7.8 %. The volume of total stock of orders increased by 37.8% as a result of a previous major order.

In the first month of 2013, the labour productivity of industrial enterprises with 5 or more employees declined by 1.8% compared to the same period of 2012 along with a 0.1% increase in the number of employees.

In January 2013, out of the territorial units of Hungary, industrial output rose year-on-year in two regions – Southern Great Plain (25.4%), and Northern Hungary (6.6%). In the other regions, volume decreases of 2.0% to 9.6% were recorded.