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Consumer prices up 6.4% yr/yr in November - detailed

Consumer prices rose 6.4% yr/yr in November and were up 0.2% from October, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) announced on Tuesday.

Twelve-month inflation was a hair up from 6.3% in October, while the month-on-month increase compares with a marked 0.5% increase in October. The figures are in line with analysts' estimate in a poll for Monday's issue of business daily Napi Gazdaság. The analysts said consumer prices rose 6.39% year-on-year in November and were up 0.22% from October.

Seasonally-adjusted core inflation was 4.6% compared to November 2005, picking up from 4.4% in the previous month. Core inflation was 0.4% compared to October, slowing one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month. Tax changes, including a reduction in the main VAT rate from 25% to 20% on January 1, 2006, and an increase of the middle VAT rate from 15% to 20% on September 1, had no apparent effect on November inflation figures, KSH noted. In January-November, consumer prices were 3.7% higher than in the same period last year.

In November alone, the rise in food prices accelerated to 1.4% from 0.4% in October, boosted by a 10.8% rise in the price of seasonal produce. Excluding seasonal produce, food prices rose 0.4% from October. Potato prices jumped 18.4% in a single month, fresh vegetables cost 8.8% more and fresh domestic and tropical fruit prices rose 7.7%. Vehicle fuel prices dropped 2.3% in November compared to October, after a 5.0% monthly fall in October and a 5.5% decline in September. In a twelve-month comparison, November fuel prices fell a slight 0.1%, after rising 10.1% year-on-year in August. Clothing prices rose an above-average 0.6% in November compared to October. Household energy prices fell 1.2% from October but rose 17.2% year-on-year in November.

Gas prices fell 5.7% in November compared to October, while the cost of district heating rose 3.9%. In a twelve-month comparison, gas prices jumped 30.1% in November and district heating prices rose 7.5%. Local councils are currently preparing decisions on district heating fees to be introduced from the start of next year.

Electricity prices rose 10.5% year-on-year in November, coal prices were up 14% and firewood was 27.8% dearer. Service prices rose just 0.1% in November compared to October. But in a twelve-month comparison, they rose 5.0%, still well under the headline figure. Within services, rent and home maintenance costs rose 6.9% year-on-year in November, including a 10.3% rise in rubbish collection charges and a 9.8% rise in sewage fees. Local transport fares rose 9.9% in a year to November and postal fees were up 5.1%.(Mti-Eco)