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Retail

Consumer Prices In Hungary 3.8% Higher In January: Statistics Office

By Robert McHugh
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Consumer Prices In Hungary 3.8% Higher In January: Statistics Office

Consumer prices in Hungary were 3.8% higher on average in January 2024, than a year earlier, according to figures from the Központi Statisztikai Hivatal (KSH - Hungarian Central Statistical Office).

The index shows that prices were up by 0.7% on average, compared to December.

The consumer price index for January reflected an uptick of 3.6% for food items on a year-on-year basis, within which the highest increases were seen for sugar (+38.2%), non-alcoholic beverages (+14.6%), chocolate and cocoa (+14.1%), buffet products (+12.7%), and pork (+10.0%).

In contrast, flour prices decreased by 19.0%, eggs by 17.8%, that of cheese by 15.6%, butter prices by 13.8%, price of pasta products by 13.2%, and milk by 10.2%.

Month-On-Month Comparison

Compared to December 2023, food became 1.2% more expensive on average, mainly due to a 6.4% increase in the price of seasonal food items, including potatoes, fresh vegetables and fresh domestic and tropical fruits.

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Food prices excluding this group went up by 0.7% on average, data showed.

Products that witnessed an increase in prices include butter (3.1%), cheese (1.6%), milk (1.2%) and pork (1.1%), while edible oil (-1.6%), sugar (-1.3%), flour (-1.2%) and bread (-0.7%) cost less for consumers.

Price Warnings

Last month, Reuters reported that Hungary's government would require large food retailers to display price warnings on products that have shrunk in size, starting from March of this year.

Hungary's inflation rate peaked at 25% in the first quarter of last year, the highest in the European Union, and it is struggling to revive the economy as consumers' purchasing power has declined.

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Prime minister Viktor Orban's government is looking to revive the economy, which eked out its first quarterly growth in a year in the third quarter, with local government and European Parliament elections on the horizon.

'Consumers Getting Less'

'In the past months, the phenomenon where the size of certain products shrinks while their prices remain the same or even increase has attracted heightened attention in several countries,' the Economy Ministry said.

'This deceptive practice leads to consumers getting less of the purchased product for their money.'

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