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Fresh data indicate wage pressure - analysts

Fresh wage data published on Friday might show some inflationary pressure, but the effect on monetary policy is likely to be neutral because of the still sluggish economy and the sour mood on global markets, analysts said.

Gergely Suppan, chief analyst for Magyar Takarékszövetkezeti Bank, said the data published by the Central Statistics Office (KSH) in the morning show the increase in business sector "regular wages" –excluding premiums and bonuses – accelerated to 5.1% in June from 4.4% in May, which could show wage pressure.

The subset of data is an important factor for the National Bank of Hungary's (MNB) rate-setters when considering inflationary trends.

Suppan said the slowdown in the number of jobs added to the sector – to about 1% from over 2% at the start of the year – reflects disappointing GDP growth in the second quarter.

Péter Fazekas of Buda-Cash Brokerház said data clearly show the effect of public work scheme jobs, but the total number of jobs still edged down by about 10,500 people in June from twelve months earlier.

The KSH data show the number of public work scheme jobs rose from 13,000 at the start of the year to 78,000 in June.

The outlook for Hungary's labor market is likely to have little effect on the outlook for monetary policy, Fazekas said. Although rate-setters watch wage data and inflation indicators, they will probably be more focused on global market sentiment and risk aversion at present, he added.

The MNB's Monetary Council will hold a rate-setting meeting on Tuesday.