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Gross wages up 11.2% y-o-y in May

The average gross monthly wage for full-time workers in Hungary rose 11.2% year-on-year to HUF 364,400 in May, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Tuesday. Net monthly wages grew at the same pace, reaching HUF 242,300.

Real wages were up 7.0% in May, calculating with 12-month inflation of 3.9% recorded for the month.

Excluding the 101,500 Hungarians employed in fostered work schemes, the average gross monthly wage rose 10.2% to HUF 374,700, while net wages grew at the same rate to HUF 249,180.

Excluding fostered workers, the average gross wage for those employed full-time in the business sector, which includes state-owned companies, rose 11.1% to HUF 379,220 in May. Again without fostered workers, the average full-time gross wage in the public sector increased 8.1% to HUF 364,073.

Full-time fostered workers earned a gross HUF 82,166 in May, 0.4% less than a year earlier. Their number dropped 27.3% in the period, in line with stated policy.

In January-May 2019

In January-May, average gross earnings amounted to HUF 358,400 and average net earnings to HUF 238,300; both grew by 10.6% compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.

Average gross monthly earnings over the period were the highest in financial and insurance activities (HUF 666,100) and the lowest (HUF 235,200) in human health and social work activities, the latter employing the majority of fostered workers.

Excluding fostered workers, business sector gross wages rose 11.2% and public sector wages rose 4.9% in the period.

Full-time employees’ average gross earnings amounted to HUF 392,900 for men and HUF 324,300 for women in January-May, representing respective year-on-year increases of 11.4% and 9.5%.

Along with the 3.5% rise in consumer prices compared to the first five months of the previous year, real earnings increased by 6.9% in January-May 2019.

Speaking to state news agency MTI, ING Bank analyst Péter Virovácz attributed the acceleration in wage growth to a rise in pay in the public sector. He augured full-year wage growth of over 10%.

TakarékBank chief analyst András Horváth said the shortage of skilled labor and minimum wage rises continued to impact overall wage growth.

Earnings data for June, and for the first half of 2019, will be published on August 30.