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Hungary’s industrial output rose by 5.4% year-on-year in December, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said in a first reading of data. Adjusted for the number of work days in the month, industrial output increased 5.7%. In a month-on-month comparison, output was up a seasonally and workday-adjusted 2.5%. For the full year, industrial output rose by 3.6%.

KSH said most branches of the manufacturing sector had contributed to the December growth. Output of the biggest branch, vehicle manufacturing, rose at a faster pace than in the previous month. Output of the computer, electronics and optical equipment branch expanded significantly, while output of the food, drink and tobacco branch rose to a smaller degree, KSH said.

ING Bank chief analyst Péter Virovácz said the December increase was higher than expected, especially in light of seasonal shutdowns. Industrial output growth could reach 4 to 5% in 2019, though weaker output in Germany and a slowdown of global growth are downside risks, he added. Takarékbank analyst Gergely Suppan also said the high December growth was a positive surprise and may have lifted Q4 GDP growth to 5%. The introduction of new car models and added manufacturing sector capacities, along with robust domestic demand, could raise industrial output growth to 4.8% this year, he added.