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Report casts doubt over wage rises

While the Central Statistical Office (KSH) claims that real wages have increased by 21% in the past three years, national accounts – which add up all the income from labor from the 4.4 million people who participate in economic production – show only a 3-4% rise, online management forum mfor.hu reported.

Regarding wages, mfor.hu noted that the KSH relies on data from companies employing a minimum five persons, which covers only three million people, while national accounts cover 4.4 million people (data from 2016).

On the other hand, the KSH argues that national accounts show gross amounts, and hide real wage increases resulting from the reduction of taxes and contributions, mfor.hu noted.

Fresh statistics released by the KSH today show that in July 2018, average gross earnings amounted to HUF 326,700. Average net earnings were HUF 217,300 excluding family tax benefits, and HUF 225,800 including them. Both gross and net earnings grew by 12.8% compared to the same month of the previous year.

Real wage growth came to 9.1% in July, calculating with monthly year-on-year inflation of 3.4%.

In January–July 2018, average gross earnings amounted to HUF 324,700, and average net earnings to HUF 216,000, both growing to the same extent, by 12.1% compared to the first seven months of the previous year.

Rises of 8% in the minimum wage and 12% in the guaranteed minimum wage, as well as salary adjustments affecting specific areas of the public sector and the employees of some state-owned public service companies, had an impact on earnings growth, said the KSH.

Along with the 2.5% rise in consumer prices compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, real earnings increased by 9.4% in January–July 2018.

Monthly average gross wages and salaries according to the SNA concept amounted to HUF 340,200, some 12.0% higher than a year earlier.

Earnings data for the period January–August 2018 will be published by the KSH on October 19.