Hungarian consumer prices accelerated slightly in September to 4,6% from 4,5 % in the previous month. Analysts were looking for inflation remaining stable at 4.5 %. The month on month change was 0.6 %.
Prices accelerated in the half of the main 12 categories. Food prices increased significantly by 0.8% on higher meat and fruit prices, their y/y change rose to 2.2% from 1.4% last month. Tobacco prices were hiked significantly. The seasonal increase in clothing prices was much more pronounced than in the last September, which brought the y/y change up to 4.1 %, the highest level for the last 4 months. The decline of y/y inflation also reversed in transport as a result of the expected rise in fuel prices, however, prices rose strongly also in telecommunications and education.
The reversal of the decline in y/y figures can be mainly explained by the quick disinflation in the second half of 2001 that created rather unfavorable comparison bases. The strong consumer demand, however, is evidenced by the development of clothing prices and some other categories.
Inflation v %
VIII.02 IX.02 IX.01
CPI m/m -0,3 0,6 0,5
y/y 4,5 4,6 8,0
The slightly worse than expected inflation should not, however, prompt any imminent reaction of the central bank. We still expect the rates to be hiked at the beginning of the next year.
Jakub Dvorak, Investment Research, CSOB