MNB inflation indicators up in Feb, but still ‘broadly unchanged’

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Measures of underlying inflation of the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) rose, but were still "broadly unchanged" in February compared to the previous month, the central bank said in a monthly assessment on Wednesday, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

The indicator for core inflation, excluding indirect tax effects, was 1.8% in February, rising from 1.6% in the previous month. The indicator for demand-sensitive inflation, which excludes processed foods from core inflation, was 1.6%, edging up from 1.5%; while the indicator for sticky price inflation, which includes items for which retail prices vary, on average, no more than 15% a month, rose from 1.7% to 1.9%.

Despite the increases, the MNB noted that the indicators "are still within the 1.5-2.0% range."

Hungaryʼs headline CPI rose 2.9% year-on-year in February from 2.3% in January, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said earlier Wednesday. Seasonally adjusted core inflation, which excludes volatile fuel and food prices, was up 1.8%. 

"In February, changes in the prices of more volatile items with greater sensitivity to cost changes, i.e. food and energy, had an upward effect on prices. Looking ahead, the price index will decrease in spring due to base effects," the MNB said. 

"Households’ inflation expectations have been broadly unchanged in recent months and remain at moderate levels, in line with underlying inflation developments," it added.

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