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Hungary consumer price inflation slows down to 4.0% in January

Twelve-month consumer price inflation in Hungary slowed down to 4.0% in January from 4.7% in December, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said. The pace was less than expected but monthly inflation picked up, with food and fuel prices remaining the main factors behind the increase.

January consumer prices were up 0.7% from December after increasing 0.4% in the previous month.

Both analysts polled by MTI in London and a survey carried out by Hungarian business daily Napi Gazdaság put the January twelve-month CPI on average to 4.3%.

Twelve-month inflation was the lowest since the 3.8% rate recorded last September, but the monthly increase was the steepest since a 0.9% rise in May 2010.

Food prices rose the most, by 1.9% in a month, in January, the steepest increase since January last year. Excluding a 8.5% monthly rise in seasonal food prices, food prices still rose a steep 1.1%. The price of sugar went up by 8.2%, edible oil prices rose 4.1% and flour prices rose 3.3% from December. Food prices were up 6.4% in one year, including 28% higher seasonal food prices, 30.5% higher flour prices and 22.2% higher edible oil prices. Egg prices were down 8.5% yr/yr.

Fuel prices rose 3.4% a month and 16.5% yr/yr in January, less than they did in the previous month. Household energy prices rose again 0.5% on the month and were up 6.2% on the year.

The price of services rose 0.3% from December andl rose a below average 2.5% yr/yr.

Consumer durable prices rose 0.1% from December but were still 1.6% below year-earlier levels.

The price of spirits and tobacco rose a below-average 0.4% month-on-month and were up a mere 1.2% yr/yr. Clothing prices fell 3% with sales from December and were up just 1.7% in one year.

Seasonally adjusted core inflation, cleared from food and fuel price changes, rose 0.1% a month and 1.7% yr/yr, far less than the headline index, and after a 0.2% a month and 2.0% yr/yr rise in December.

Excluding tax changes, inflation was the same as the headline index, and the monthly adjusted rate picked up from 0.4% but the twelve-month tax-adjusted rate slowed from 4.3% in December.

The harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP), calculated for European comparisons, showed prices rose 0.9% a month and rose 4.0% yr/yr. HICP showed a 0.4% monthly and a 4.6% twelve-month increase in December.

The price index of pensioners, also calculated by KSH, showed prices increased 0.8% a month in January, double the rate in the previous month. The twelve-month price rise slowed to 4.4% from 5.1% in December. (MTI – Econews)