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Consumer price inflation slows

Twelve-month consumer price inflation slowed to 3.7% in June from 3.8% in May, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Tuesday. The June figure was under analysts' estimate of 3.9%.

In a month-on-month comparison, consumer prices inched up 0.1% in June after a 1.5% increase in May.

Twelve-month core inflation picked up to 3.2% in June from 3.1% in May. Seasonally-adjusted month-on-month core inflation was flat at 0.4%.

Food prices had a big effect on the lower month-on-month figure, in line with analysts' expectations. Food prices dropped 1.6% in June after rising 4.9% in May. Seasonal food prices fell a sharp 9.2%. Excluding seasonal foods, food prices inched up 0.1%. Prices for fresh vegetables plunged 22.0% in June after rising 15.4% in May. Fruit prices slipped 2.4% in June after climbing 29.9% in May. Prices for dairy, lard and flour products all fell in June, while prices for meat products remained flat.

Car fuel prices climbed 5.3% in June in a month-on-month comparison, well over the 2.9% and 0.8% rises in April and May, respectively.

Household energy prices fell 0.4% and clothing prices dropped 0.3%. The price of alcohol and tobacco rose 0.8% in June after climbing 0.6% in May. Prices for consumer durables rose 0.1% in June, slowing from increases of 1.4% and 0.7% in April and May, respectively, as the forint firmed.

Service prices rose 0.3% in June as the cost of vacationing abroad increased 5.1% and the cost of vacationing in Hungary climbed 2.6%.

In a twelve-month comparison, food prices - which account for 23% of the consumer basket in Hungary - rose 5.9% as the price of lard increased 30.7% but the price of cooking oil fell 15.7%. Potato prices were up 18.5% and fresh fruit prices increased 19.8%. The price of alcohol and tobacco - which have a 9.2% weight in the consumer basket - rose 6.4%, largely on the back of a 9.5% rise in tobacco prices.

Car fuel prices fell 12.3% in June. Household energy tariffs rose 8.0% as gas prices climbed 20.6%.

Prices of consumer durables rose 1.6%, well under the headline figures. Within consumer durables, the price of jewelry climbed 13.5%.

Service prices were up 3.6% as the cost of vacationing abroad rose 7.0%, postal prices climbed 6.8% and condominium fees increased 9.4%. (MTI-ECONEWS)