UPDATE - Gross wage growth accelerates to 6.5% yr/yr in August

In Hungary

Gross wages in Hungary rose 6.5% in August from the same month a year earlier, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said on Friday.

Wage growth accelerated from a 6.2% increase in July, as wage growth picked up in the business sector.

Gross wages rose 5.4% in twelve months in the business sector, rising over the 3.4% twelve-month rise in July, and public sector gross wages were up 8.0% in the year to August as the yr/yr rise slowed from 12.9% in July.

Net wages rose 6.8% in August, the same as they rose in July. Net wages rose 7.2% in the business sector and were up 4.9% in the public sector.

Net wages rose over twelve-month inflation of 3.6% in August and 3.9% in the first eight months.

Public sector wages include the wages of those employed in public work schemes.

The twelve-month increase of gross regular wages, which exclude bonuses and one-off payments, also picked, to 6.0% in August from 5.4% in July, boosted by higher regular wages in the business sector.

Business sector gross regular wages rose 4.8% yr/yr after a 4.1% rise in July, and reached HUF 200,858 a month. The growth of public sector gross regular wages slowed to 7.9% from 8.1% in July; gross regular monthly wages in the sector averaged HUF 193,246 in August.

The increase in the public sector continued to be boosted by the rise of the regular wages of those employed in public work schemes. Regular wages of participants in the program, if they worked full-time, climbed 7.7% yr/yr to HUF 81,017 in August. (The minimum wage rose from HUF 73,500 in 2010 to HUF 78,000 in 2011.)

Excluding those on public work schemes, August regular gross wages in the public sector rose 2.9% yr/yr to HUF 196,797 a month.

Including extras, gross wages averaged HUF 211,482 a month in the business sector in August and HUF 196,756 in the public sector. Excluding those in public work schemes, public sector gross wages rose 3.0% to HUF 200,417 in August.

January-August gross wages were up 4.3%, including 5% higher wages in the business sector and 1.6% higher wages in the public sector. Excluding those on public work schemes, gross public sector wages fell 3.2% from the average in January-August 2010.

Gross regular wages, excluding bonuses and one-off payments, rose 5.1% during the period. Regular wages rose 4.2% in the business sector and were up 6.6% in the public sector -- a rise of 1.9% if public work scheme employees were excluded.

Earnings in the public sector rose, in fact, more, as KSH did not account as wage but as social support the compensation paid to low-earners adversely affected by the introduction of a flat 16% personal income tax and the elimination of some write-offs from the start of the year. About 46% of full-time employees in the public sector received an average HUF 5,200 a month in such regular compensation in the first eight months, KSH said.

Net wages rose 5.6% in January-August, excluding the effect of the new family tax allowance but including the effect of changes to personal income tax rules.

Gross wages rose on average 1.4% in 2010 after edging up just 0.6% in 2009. Business sector gross wages rose 3.3% in 2010 after rising 4.3% in 2009. Including the wages of workers in public work schemes, public sector gross wages fell 2.7% in 2010 after a 7.9% drop in 2009.

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