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Hungary CPI quickens to 5.9% in February

Consumer prices in Hungary rose 5.9% yr/yr in February, outpacing analysts' highest expectations, accelerating further from a rise of 5.5% in January and 4.1% in December, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said on Tuesday.

On Monday, London emerging market analysts' forecasts varied between 5.4-5.8% for February yr/yr inflation in Hungary.

Last year annual average inflation was 3.9%.

Monthly inflation slowed to 0.8% from 2.1% in January which was the highest within a year. 

Food prices went up 1.7 % m/m after rising 2.8% in January, alcoholic beverages and tobacco cost 0.9% more after becoming 3.0% more expensive in January, clothing and footwear went down 0.6% after a 2.7% m/m drop in January. Consumer durables were up 0.1% m/m after becoming 0.2% cheaper in January. Household energy products went up 2.7% m/m after adding 1.0% in January, while motor fuels and lubricants became 0.2% more expensive after rising 2.8% in January m/m. Services prices were up 0.3% after a plus of 2.2% in January, also m/m.

In twelve-month comparisons, motor fuels and lubricants led the increase with 8.7% yr/yr rise after 8.5% in January. Strong second came household energy, with 8.1% yr/yr rise after adding 6.4% in January. Next were alcoholic beverages and tobacco rising 7.6% yr/yr after 6.7% up in January.

Food prices went up 6.0% yr/yr after rising 5.5% in January. 

Clothing and footwear was up 4.8% after a 2.8% yr/yr rise in January. Consumer durables were down 1.3% yr/yr after becoming 1.5% cheaper in January. Services prices were up 4.5% after a plus of 4.6% in January, also yr/yr.

EU harmonized inflation (HICP) was 0.6% m/m and 5.8% yr/yr in February, after 2.4% and 5.6% respectively in January, and 3.9% on average last year.

Core inflation with seasonal adjustment came in at 0.6% m/m and 5.4% yr/yr, after 1.6% and 4.9% in January, and 2.8% last year.

Inflation without tax changes would have been 0.7% m/m and 3.9% yr/yr, after 1.0% and 3.6% in January, and 3.8% last year.

Pensioners' basket of goods went up 1.1% m/m and 6.0% yr/yr, after 2.0% and 5.6% in January, and 4.4% on average in 2011.