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Hungary Inflation Accelerates Further; Trade Deficit Widens


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Hungary’s consumer price inflation continued its rising trend in November amid surging food prices and utility costs, while the trade gap widened sharply in October from a year ago, separate reports from the Hungarian Central Statistical Office showed on Thursday.

Consumer price inflation rose to 22.5 percent in November from 21.1 percent in October. That was just above the 22.2 percent surge expected by economists.

Inflation has been above the central bank’s target range of 2-4 percent since March 2021. This was the third time that inflation exceeded 20 percent since 1996.

Utility costs were 65.9 percent more expensive compared to last year, and food prices surged 43.8 percent.

Consumers paid 14.4 percent more for consumer durables. At the same time, alcoholic beverage and tobacco prices rose by 13.8 percent.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices moved up 1.8 percent, following a 2.0 percent rise in October.

Core inflation advanced to 24.0 percent in November from 22.3 percent a month ago. This was the highest since April 1996 and above economists’ forecast of 23.4 percent.

Month-on-month, core consumer prices rose 2.1 percent after climbing 2.2 percent.

The EU measure of harmonized index of consumer prices, or HICP, rose 23.1 percent annually and gained 1.7percent from the prior month.

The trade deficit widened sharply to EUR 1.0 million in October from EUR 421 million in the corresponding month last year. In September, there was a shortfall of EUR 745 million.

Exports grew 21.0 percent year-on-year in October, while imports rose at a faster rate of 26.0 percent.

On a monthly basis, both exports and imports declined by 7.5 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively.

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