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Hungary’s CPI slows to 5.7% in April

Hungary's twelve-month consumer price inflation slowed to 5.7% in April after rising to 5.9% in March, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said.

Monthly inflation slowed to 0.5% in April from 0.7% in March, still boosted by steep rises in the price of fuel and seasonal foodstuff. Fuel prices and tax changes, including excise tax rises, remained the main factors behind the twelve-month rise.

The twelve-month CPI was slightly up from the 5.6% consensus of analysts polled by the business daily Napi Gazdaság. City analysts polled by MTI put the April twelve-month figure between 5.4% and 5.9%.

Consumer price inflation slowed in February after accelerating in the previous three months but rose again in March.

Seasonally-adjusted core inflation slowed to 0.1% a month in April from 0.2% in March, and twelve-month adjusted core inflation also slowed, from 4.7% to 4.3%.

Excluding tax changes, April consumer prices rose 0.5% a month, just as the headline index did, reflecting no tax effects in the April price rises. Twelve-month price increases were, in contrast, significantly boosted by the tax changes in the past twelve months, including last July's VAT rises and excise duty rises, as excluding tax effects, consumer prices rose just 1.5% yr/yr in April. The adjusted price increases slowed from 0.6%-a-month and 1.8% yr/yr tax-adjusted increase in March.

Calculated for European comparisons, prices rose 0.9% a month and 5.7% yr/yr according to the harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) in April. The monthly increase picked up from 0.6%, while the twelve-month increase was unchanged from March.

The price index of pensioners, also calculated by KSH, showed a 0.4% rise, slightly lower than the headline index, and down from the 0.4% increase registered in March. The twelve-month pensioner index also dropped, to 4.6% April from 4.8% on the year in March.

Inflation in January-April averaged 5.9%, KSH said.

Annual average inflation was 4.2% last year, down from 6.1% in 2008. (MTI – Econews)