Hungarian retail-sales rise slower as austerity measures felt

Figures

Hungarian retail-sales growth slowed in September from the month before as affects of the government's austerity program began to show, denting sales of products such as food and furniture.

Retail-sales rose 0.4% in the month and 4.5% from the same period a year ago, the Budapest-based statistics office said in an e-mailed statement today. The figures compare with an annual rate of 5.1% and a monthly increase of 0.6% in August. Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány’s government raised taxes and cut subsidies to trim the European Union's widest budget deficit.

The measures increased the price of natural gas, electricity, drugs and public transport and drove the annual inflation rate to a two-year high.  In September, sales of food products were unchanged from the previous month after a 0.4% gain in August. Furniture and home improvement product sales growth slowed to 0.9% from 1.1%. (Bloomberg)

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