Gross wage growth in Hungary grew by an annual 10.4 percent in November, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Thursday.
In absolute terms, Hungarians employed full time earned a gross monthly 355,100 forints (EUR 1,118).
Net wages also grew by 10.4 percent, to 236,100 forints during the period.
Twelve-month wage growth has been in the double digits since early 2017, after an agreement was reached by employers, unions and the government on big minimum wage increases paired with payroll tax cuts.
Finance Ministry: wage increase will continue this year
The finance ministry’s state secretary for employment, Sándor Bodó, said the government endeavours to ensure the wage increases, which have lasted 71 months so far, will continue this year.
Bodó noted that wages have been growing in both the public and private sectors, and employment in government fostered job schemes is declining as workers move to the primary market.
In 2018, employees pocketed an extra month’s salary, he said, noting a marked wage increase for manual workers and a higher rate of wage hikes in the country’s less advanced regions.
Bodó said that a new two-year wage agreement, coupled with a reduction in the social contribution tax, negotiated in 2018 would underpin further wage increases. The government expects an average rise of above 6 percent in real wages this year, he added.
Emigration is likely to slow down and consumption will continue to grow, adding fuel to the economy, he said.
Analysts expect 7-9 percent wage grow
Analysts told MTI that robust wage growth would endure this year, though at a slightly lower rate than last year.
Péter Virovácz of ING Bank said wage growth was in line with market expectations, but a downward trend was detectable. He said it was hard to forecast wage growth for this year as the KSH would use a new methodology to measure wages, and the impact on the real economy of wage increases may be more moderate than in 2018.
András Horváth of Takarékbank forecast wage growth rate exceeding 11 percent in 2018 and 9 percent this year. Last year, growth in real wages was 8.3 percent, and in 2019 the analyst expects a 6 percent increase, he said.
Orsolya Nyeste of Erste Bank said no single factor pointed to a major slowdown in 2019 and wage growth was likely to be 7-8 percent.
Dávid Németh of K and H Bank said that after last year’s growth, average wages would continue to rise this year as the basic minimum wage and the minimum wage for skilled workers was still rising and labour market conditions would continue to stimulate wage growth.