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Hungary gross wages drop 1.2% yr/yr in November

Gross wages in Hungary dropped 1.2% in the twelve months to November due to slower wage growth in the business sector and a sharp drop in public sector wages, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said.

The twelve-month decline was the first one since May and followed slowing wage growth since September.

The sharp decline in public sector wages reflected the absence of bonuses in the sector in 2010 compared to some year-end bonus payments in November-December 2009, Econews learned. Regular gross wages in the public sector actually rose for the second month in a row after an almost continuous yr/yr decline since June 2008. In a change from the pattern of the previous months, business sector regular wages rose more than did overall wages in the sector in November.

Gross wages rose 1.6% yr/yr in the business sector in November after a 3.0% rise in October. Gross wages in the public sector fell 7.8% in the twelve months to November after a 3.0% decline in October. Excluding those on public work schemes, November public sector gross wages fell 6.8% yr/yr.

January-November gross wages rose 2.0% from the same period a year earlier. Business sector gross wages were up 3.8% while public sector gross wages fell 2.0% including workers on public work schemes and rose 0.3% excluding their wages.

Net wage growth slowed to 3.7% yr/yr in November from 5.2% in October. In the business sector, net wages were up 5.3% after a 6.3% rise in October and net wages in the public sector fell 0.1% in November after a 2.7% rise in October, decreasing for the first time in 2010.

January-November net wages rose 7.5% yr/yr, exceeding the growth of gross wages mainly due to changes in the personal income tax regime in the period. Net business sector wages rose 8.1% and net public sector wages rose 6.2% in the period.

Regular gross wages, excluding bonuses and other one-off items rose 2.2% in November from a year earlier as business sector regular wages rose 3.0%, more than headline wages did. Public sector regular net wages were up 0.5% yr/yr in November including public work schemes, and rose 1.7% excluding public sector schemes, reflecting that the overall drop stemmed from the decrease in bonuses and other one-off items.

Real wages fell 0.5% from November 2009 and were up 2.5% yr/yr in the first eleven months, calculating with a November CPI of 4.2% and average inflation of 4.9% in the first eleven months of last year. (MTI – Econews)