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Consumer price increase continues to slow in November

Consumer prices were 7.9% higher on average in November 2023 than a year earlier. Compared to October, the prices were unchanged on average, however, motor fuels became 3.6% cheaper.

In 12 months, compared to November 2022 a price rise of 7.1% was recorded for food, within which the highest ones for the following: 49.7% for sugar, 19.1% for chocolate and cocoa, 17.9% for non-alcoholic beverages and 17.0% for buffet products. Within the product group, egg prices decreased by 24.4%, the price of flour by 15.8%, that of cheese by 10.4%, butter prices by 9.9% and the price of pasta products by 7.4%.

Electricity, gas and other fuels became 18.1% cheaper, within which 36.2% less had to be paid for natural and manufactured gas and 3.5% less for electricity and 0.8% more for firewood and 1.9% more for butane and propane gas. Motor fuel prices went up by 25.4%.

Services became 12.6% more expensive, within which motorway use, renting a car and parking cost 20.7%, recreational services 15.8%, other public entertainment tickets 14.1% and the repair and maintenance of vehicles 13.8% more and travel to work or school 21.7% less for consumers.

Alcoholic beverages and tobacco prices were up by 10.6%, within which the price of alcoholic beverages by 12.1%. Pet food prices became 24.3%, the price of detergents 15.2%, that of toilet articles 7.7% and dwelling repair and maintenance goods prices 3.3% higher.

Consumers paid 0.4% less for consumer durables, within which the price of second-hand passenger cars was cut by 9.5% and kitchen and other furniture prices increased by 9.4%, the price of heating and cooking appliances by 4.3%, that of living and dining room furniture by 3.7% and new passenger car prices by 3.3%.

In one month, compared to October 2023 consumer prices were unchanged on average. Food became 0.5% more expensive on average, dominantly owing to a 6.6% rise in the price of seasonal food items (potatoes, fresh vegetables and fresh domestic and tropical fruits).

Food prices excluding this group were unchanged on average. Poultry meat cost 2.0%, edible oil 1.9%, butter 1.6% and sugar 0.8% less for consumers.

Motor fuel prices were reduced by 3.6%. Clothing and footwear became 1.2% more expensive. Consumers paid 1.2% less for electricity, gas and other fuels, within which 2.5% less for natural and manufactured gas and 0.6% less for firewood.

Commenting on the data, Marton Nagy, the economic development minister, said the government had fulfilled its commitment to push inflation into single digits by October, two months ahead of year-end as originally expected. Inflation, he said, fell below 8 percent in November, helping families and the economy.

The minister said in a statement that the disinflationary trend indicated the efficacy of the government’s targeted measures.

To further curb price increases, the government is extending mandatory price caps on basic foods until July 1, he said. The price of basic foodstuffs will be further monitored, with the number of monitored goods expected to grow from 62 to 80 to include lactose and gluten free goods, beef and duck, he said.

Meanwhile, other indicators, he said, showed that Hungary’s economy may return to its earlier growth path next year. Economic growth in the third quarter was one of the fastest in Europe, and the purchase value of real wages has also started to grow, he said.

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