Gross wage growth in Hungary grew by an annual 10.4% in November, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said. In absolute terms, Hungarians employed full time earned a gross monthly 355,100 forints (EUR 1,118). Net wages also grew by 10.4%, 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. 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.
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. The government expects an average rise of above 6% in real wages this year, he added.
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. András Horváth of Takarékbank forecast wage growth rate exceeding 11% in 2018 and 9% this year. Last year, growth in real wages was 8.3%, and in 2019 the analyst expects a 6% 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%. Dávid Németh of K&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.