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Consumer prices up 3.5% yr/yr in August

Consumer prices rose 3.5% yr/yr in August and were unchanged from July, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) announced on Tuesday. Twelve-month inflation was up from 3.0% in July, while monthly inflation slowed from 0.2% in July. Analysts estimated consumer prices rose 3.32% yr/yr in August and were up only slightly over July in a poll in Monday's issue of business daily Napi Gazdaság. Consumer prices were up 2.7% in the first 8 months of 2006 from a year earlier. Seasonally-adjusted core inflation, which excludes volatile fuel and food prices, was 0.7% compared to July and 2.4% compared to a year earlier, both up from 0.5% month-on-month and 1.9% yr/yr in July.
Twelve-month core inflation has been rising each month since May. Twelve-month core inflation was lowest in January, measuring just 0.5% yr/yr, and it was 0.7%-0.8% yr/yr in the following three months. Excluding tax changes, which included a 5 percentage point cut in the main VAT rate to 20% effective January 1, 2006, consumer prices were unchanged from July and rose 5.3% in the twelve months to August. Excluding tax changes, July consumer prices rose 0.2% from June and were up 4.8% from June 2005. According to the harmonized consumer price index (HICP), prices increased 1.0% in August from July and were up 4.7% yr/yr. In July, the HICP index showed that prices rose 0.2% from June and rose 3.2% from July 2005. (Mti-Eco)