KSH: Hungaryʼs CPI up 0.5% in May

Figures

The consumer price index in Hungary rose by a year-on-year 0.5% in May following a 0.3% drop in April, despite analysts expecting a 0-0.4% rise, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said today. In a month-on-month comparison, consumer prices rose by 0.7% in May.

In year-on-year terms, food prices rose by 1.2%. The price increase was reported in potatoes, fresh vegetables, fruit at 14.6%, eggs at 6.8% and edible oil at 4.2%, while seeing a decrease in sugar prices (16.6%), cheese (6.2%), milk (5.3%) and flour (4.8%). The price of alcoholic beverages and tobacco rose 3.0%.

Services rose in price by 2.3%, with transport services seeing a growth of 2.4%. The price of electricity, gas and other fuels decreased 2.6% on average. Within this group, consumers paid 5.7% less for electricity and 3.4% less for purchased heat.

Consumers paid slightly more for some goods including consumer durable goods (0.6%) and clothing and footwear (0.1%), while there was a 2.7% drop in other goods including household and pharmaceutical products, as well as motor fuels and recreational goods. Also within the group, the prices of motor fuels decreased by 8%.

In month on month terms, consumer prices rose by 0.7%. Food prices increased 1.1%, mainly due to the price increase of seasonal food items (8.1%), i.e. potatoes, fresh vegetables and fruits. Excluding these seasonal items, however, food prices rose 0.1%. For other goods the price increase was the highest (1.7%), and in this group consumers had to pay 3.9% more for motor fuels. The price of clothing and footwear rose in line with the average (0.7%). Services rose 0.2%, consumer durable goods rose 0.1% and alcoholic beverages and tobacco rose 0.5%. The prices of electricity, gas and other fuels did not change.

Compared with the period of January to May of last year, the average price decrease was 0.6%.

The May inflation figure came as a surprise, according to Analyst Gergely Suppan of Takarékbank, as his bank’s analysts had predicted a 0.3% CPI rise. Suppan, as well as Dávid Németh of K&H Bank, forecast annual average inflation of 0.5% this year.

Vivien Barczel and Gergely Ürmössy of Erste Bank noted inflation in Hungary returning to positive numbers for the first time since August 2014. The bank’s analysts predict annual average inflation of 0.3% in 2015.

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