The output of the transport and automotive segment, accounting for 22% of the manufacturing segment, declined 13.3% y/y in March, due to semiconductor shortages and other material supply disruptions, according to the second release of data by the Central Statistics Office (KSH) on May 13.
The weaker performance of Hungary’s leading industrial sector led to the headline industrial output figure slowing to 3.6% y/y, down from 4.8% in the previous month. Adjusted for the number of workdays, output climbed 4.2%. On a monthly basis, output edged 0.1% lower.
The output of the computer, electronics, and optical equipment segment, the second-largest segment, increased by 6.3% y/y. The output of the food, drinks and tobacco segment climbed 10.2%.
Industrial exports rose 2.4% y/y, but transport equipment export, representing 27% of the total, fell by 18.2%, while that of electronic products increased by 5.1%. Manufacturing sector sales rose 2.1%, as domestic sales grew 12.4% but export sales dropped 1.8%.
In the first three months, industrial output rose 5.5% y/y as domestic sales climbed 11.8% and exports rose 2.4%. In absolute terms, industrial sales came to HUF5.9 trillion (€15.3bn), with exports accounting for 70% of sales.
Hungary’s GDP may have expanded 7% y/y in Q1, supported by the strong industry and retail sectors. The preliminary data will be published on May 17.
Labour shortages, the zero Covid-policy in China, raw material shortages and supply issues pose downside risks in the industry. Once problems affecting supply chains are resolved, output could rise thanks to added capacities in the electronics and automotive sectors.
The total order stock was up 26% from the same period a year ago at the end of March. New order stock rose 2.7% as new domestic orders climbed 9.2% and new orders for export increased by 1.5%.