Bloomberg News

Hungary’s Current-Account Surplus Almost Doubles After Revision

September 30, 2011

Sept. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Hungary’s second-quarter current- account surplus nearly doubled from the previous three months after the central bank slashed the first-quarter figure by more than half as part of a multi-year revision due to methodology changes.

The surplus was 738 million euros ($999 million), the largest quarterly figure on record, compared with a revised 385 million euros in the January-March period and a revised 371 million euros a year earlier, the Magyar Nemzeti Bank said today. That compares with a median estimate of a 750 million- euro surplus in a Bloomberg survey of 10 economists.

The central bank revised data going back to 2005 after the statistical office changed the calculation methodology for tourism expenditures as well as trade in goods, the bank said. The impact of the revisions on the balance calculated as a percentage of gross domestic product was minus 1.6 percent in the first quarter and minus 1 percent in 2010, according to the central bank.

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 current-account surplus of 3.7 percent of GDP in 2012, Mihaly Varga, the prime minister’s chief of staff, said yesterday.

Hungary’s net external financing capacity, or the combined surplus of the current and capital accounts, was an adjusted 3.3 percent of GDP in the second quarter.

The country had a surplus of 2.4 billion euros in the trade of goods and services, while direct investment income showed a deficit of 1.2 billion euros. Current transfers from the EU had a surplus of 327 million euros.

--Editor: Alan Crosby

To contact the reporter on this story: Edith Balazs in Budapest at ebalazs1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net


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