Hungary: Consumer prices stable in January
February 14, 2014
In January, consumer prices rose 0.3% over the previous month according to the statistical office. January's reading, which contrasted the 0.5% fall recorded in December, was driven by lower prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages as well as for housing, water, electricity and fuel, which completely offset higher prices for alcoholic beverages and tobacco as well as for recreation and culture.
Annual headline inflation fell from 0.4% in December to a flat reading in January, which marked the lowest rate on record. Inflation remains well below the Central Bank's target of 3.0% with a tolerance margin of plus/minus 1.0%. The core inflation index, which excludes volatile items such as fresh food and fuel, rose 0.4% over the previous month (December: +0.1% month-on-month). Meanwhile, annual core inflation edged down from 3.6% in December to 3.4% in January.
The Central Bank projected that inflation would end 2014 at 1.9% and increase to 3.0% by the end of 2015. FocusEconomics panelists see 2014 year-end inflation at 2.4%, which is down 0.2 percentage points over last month's projection. Next year, the panel expects inflation to inch up to 3.2%.
Author: Dirina Mançellari, Senior Economist