Hungary CPI picks up to 5.7% in April


Consumer prices in Hungary rose 5.7% yr/yr in April, accelerating from 5.5% yr/yr in March, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said on Friday. Consumer prices rose 0.8% on the month, by the same monthly pace as in February and March.

The twelve-month CPI exceeded expectations: London emerging-market analysts forecast the twelve-month rate between 5.4-5.6% on Tuesday. Analysts polled by the business daily Napi Gazdaság put twelve-month inflation at 5.5% and the monthly rate at 0.7%.

January-April inflation came to 5.6%, compared to last year's annual average inflation of 3.9%. Tax changes, including excise-tax increases and a 2 percentage point rise in the main VAT rate at the beginning of January and rising fuel prices were the main factors behind higher twelve-month inflation. The twelve-month CPI rose from 4.2% in December to 5.9% in February, dropping back to January's 5.5% in March before rising again.

Excluding the effect of tax changes, April inflation would have been 0.7% mo/mo and 3.5% yr/yr, both up from 0.6% and 3.4%, respectively, in March.

Seasonally-adjusted core inflation fell on the month -- to 0.3% from 0.5% in March -- and rose on the year -- to 5.1% from 5.0%.

EU harmonized inflation (HICP) in Hungary was unchanged at 0.8% on the month and rose slightly, from 5.5% yr/yr in March to 5.6% on the year.

Food prices rose 0.8% a month as they did in March, and again in line with the headline index, the cost of seasonal foods rose 1.5%. Vehicle fuel prices rose 3.4% a month after rising 2.4% in March, pushing up prices in the category of other products by 1.4%. In the same product group, pharmaceutical prices dropped 0.2% prices after rising 0.1% in March.

Alcoholic beverage and tobacco prices continued to rise at a high, albeit slowing, monthly pace of 1.1%. Clothing prices rose the most, by 2.4% a month, on seasonal effects.

Consumer durable prices were unchanged after a 0.3% drop in March. Household energy prices rose 0.3%, slightly less than in March. Services prices rose 0.5% a month, still less than the average, but more than the 0.2% increase in March.

In a twelve-month comparison, food prices were up 4.2%, rising below average inflation now for the second month as seasonal food prices fell again, this time 14.7pc yr/yr. The price of services also rose 4.2% yr/yr, and clothing prices also rose abelow the average, by 2.0% yr/yr.

April consumer durable prices were down 1.2% yr/yr.

The largest twelve-month rise of 12.6% was registered again with alcoholic beverages and tobacco, followed by a 9.1% rise for the group of other products. The latter group includes vehicle fuels and lubricants, the prices of which rose 18.3%, and pharmaceuticals, the price of which rose 3.2% yr/yr in April.

Household energy prices continued to rise at an above average rate of 7.0%, including a 11.7 rise in district heating and a 14.1% rise in bottled gas.

Services prices were up 4.2% yr/yr, including 6.4% higher fees for waste collection and 5.4% higher sewage fees. Service prices rose slightly more than in March.

Prices in the pensioners' basket of goods went up at a below-average 0.6% a month and 5.4% on the year, both slightly down from March.

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