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Hungary gross wages grow, boosted by private-sector

Gross wages in Hungary rose 10.6% in the twelve months to April, while net wages increased 9.1% during the period, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said on Thursday.

Gross wage growth increased from 9.9% year-on-year (yr/yr) in March, boosted by higher both private-sector wages. Overall gross wages and regular wages rose at an accelerating pace in the private sector, increasing the chances for a central bank rate rise. The central bank watches wage figures closely as an indicator for the development of inflationary expectations. January-April gross wages rose 7.5% yr/yr and net wages rose 6.9% from a year earlier.

Gross wages in the private sector rose 10% yr/yr in April, up from 9.0% in March. Public-sector gross-wage growth was practically unchanged, increasing 12.8% in April after rising 12.7% in March. Changes last year to the way in which the annual bonuses--equivalent to a full month’s pay--of public-sector employees are paid boosted wage growth in April, just they did in the previous two months. Public-sector employees were paid one-twelfth of the annual bonus in April, as compared to no bonus payment in the base period.

January-April average private-sector gross wages rose 10.7% from the same period a year earlier, while public-sector gross wages rose 2.1% -- again due to changes in the payment schedule for annual bonuses, which resulted in a sharp 14.6% gross-wage decrease in the sector in January.

The twelve-month growth of “regular” gross wages -- excluding the effect of bonuses and other one-off payments -- also picked up, rising to 8.2% in April after having slowed to 7.2% in March. January-March regular wages rose 7.7% from the same period a year earlier, level with the 7.7% full-year rise in 2007.

Private-sector gross regular wages rose 9.1% in April, increasing sharply from March, when private-sector gross regular wages rose 7.7% yr/yr. In January-April, private-sector regular gross-wages climbed 9.0% from the same period a year earlier, after a full-year rise of 10.6% in 2007.

Public-sector regular gross-wages rose 6.3% yr/yr in April, the same rate as they did in March. Regular wage growth in the sector flattened out after rising at an increasing pace since last October, when the twelve-month rate was a mere 0.8%. January-April regular gross wages in the public sector rose 5.2% from the same period a year earlier, exceeding the 2.3% full-year increase in 2007.

Net wages rose 9.1% yr/yr to Ft 120,091 a month in April. Real wages increased 2.3%, calculating with the 6.6% April twelve-month CPI. Net wages in the private sector rose 8.6% in April, picking up from a 8.0% increase in March. Public- sector net wages rose 10.9% in April after a 10.8% yr/yr rise in March.

January-April net wages rose 6.9% yr/yr to average Ft 120,524 a month, while real wages -- calculated with 6.8% inflation -- rose 0.1% during the period. In April, the monthly gross wage was Ft 192,011 in the private sector, of which regular wages accounted for Ft 176,041. In the public sector, average gross wages were Ft 203,700 (including one-twelfth of the yearly bonus) in April, including Ft 180,602 in regular wages.

(Ft 100 = Euro 0.4099) (MTI-Econews)