Hungary’s first-quarter GDP rose by an annual 5.3%, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) confirmed in a second reading of data. On the production side, value added in the industrial sector rose by 5.9% during the period. Within the sector, manufacturing expanded by 5.8%. Growth in the construction sector reached 46.7%. The service sector expanded by 3.8%, as the commerce, commercial accommodations and catering segment grew by 6.5% and the infocommunications segment also grew by 6.5%.
ING Bank chief analyst Péter Virovácz said the fresh data show the structure of growth has become more balanced. For the first time since 2016, net exports have contributed positively to growth, alongside domestic demand, he added.
Virovácz said the negative impact on headline growth of changes to inventories — 3.4 percentage points, the KSH data show — could be explained by a drop in vehicle stocks after compliance with new emissions requirements caused a build-up in 2018. He put full-year GDP growth around 4.5%.
K&H Bank senior analyst Dávid Németh said growth over 5% is unsustainable, in part because of the expected slowdown in the construction sector. He augured full-year growth of 4.2-4.3%.