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Inflation rises to 3.8% in October

Consumer prices were 3.8% higher on average in October 2018 than a year earlier, accelerating from a 3.6% year-on-year increase in September. Significant price increases have been measured over the past year for motor fuels and tobacco in particular, show figures published today by the Central Statistical Office (KSH).

In October 2018, compared to October 2017, food prices rose by 4.6%, within which the average price of seasonal food items (potatoes, fresh vegetables and fruit) rose 20.5%, flour by 7.6%, and bread by 5.5%, while sugar prices fell 20.2%.

Prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco increased by 5.1% on average, within which tobacco prices rose 7.3%.

Electricity, gas and other fuels became 1.3% dearer, within which butane and propane gas prices rose 12.7%, while firewood became 9.5% more expensive. Consumers paid 16.2% more for motor fuels.

Seasonally adjusted core inflation, which excludes volatile fuel and food prices, was 2.6% in October year-on-year, while CPI harmonized for better comparison with other EU member states was 3.9%. Calculating with a basket of goods and services used by pensioners, CPI was 3.4%.

Excluding the effect of tax changes, consumer prices rose 4.2% in October, state news agency MTI noted.

In October 2018 compared to the preceding month, consumer prices were up by 0.5% on average. Food prices rose by 0.5%, while prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco increased by 1.1%, mainly due to an increase in tobacco excise duty. Consumers paid 1.1% more for motor fuels month-on-month.

In January–October 2018, compared to the first ten months of 2017, consumer prices increased by 2.8% on average.

Consumer price data for November 2018 will published by the KSH on December 11.

MNBʼs underlying inflation measures up

In a monthly analysis released after the publication of the KSH data, the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) said its measures of underlying inflation developments rose compared to September, MTI reported.

The indicator for core inflation, excluding the effects of indirect taxes, stood at 2.5% in October, edging up from 2.4% in the previous month.

The indicator for demand-sensitive inflation, which excludes processed foods from core inflation, rose from 2.4% to 2.7%.

The indicator for "sticky price inflation," which includes items for which retail prices vary, on average, by no more than 15% a month, also rose three-tenths of a percentage point to 3.0%.

The central bank attributed the pickup in headline inflation in the autumn mainly to the rise in volatile fuel and unprocessed food prices, and to the increase in excise tax on tobacco products.

Householdsʼ inflation expectations "remained at moderate levels" in September, the MNB added.