* November output -6.9 pct y/y, far worse than expectations
* Comes on the heels of disappointing Czech output data
* Could lend further ammunition to central bank rate cuts
BUDAPEST, Jan 8 Hungary's industrial output fell
to a three-year low in November, official data showed on
Tuesday, as new investments in the car sector were unable to
compensate for a fall in other segments of industry.
Unadjusted output fell by an annual 6.9 percent,
far worse than analyst forecasts for a 3.9 percent decline in a
Reuters poll, dragging output for the first 11 months deeper
into the red and confirming that Hungary was in recession.
It could lend further arguments to the National Bank of
Hungary, which has cut interest rates by 125 basis points to
5.75 percent since August, to loosen policy further as it seeks
to bolster an economy also stifled by government austerity.
The forint eased a touch after the figures.
The data, which lagged even the most pessimistic analyst
forecast for a 6.6 percent decline, came a day after Czech
output also disappointed, highlighting the risks to central
Europe's two most open economies amid the euro zone crisis.
New car sector investments by Germany's Daimler and Audi in
Hungary over the past years were the only green shoots in an
otherwise dismal sector but even so did little to temper the
decline, the Central Statistics Office said.
"The worst declines can still be seen in telecommunications
and electronics manufacturing," statistician Miklos Schindele
"Vehicle manufacturing - which accounts for 20 percent of
industrial output - is the only area capable of growth, however,
that was unable to compensate for the rest."