The average gross monthly wage for full-time workers in Hungary rose by an annual 9.0 to 371,131 forints (EUR 1,150) in April, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said. Net wages grew at the same pace, reaching 246,802 forints.
Calculating with twelve-month CPI of 3.9% in April, real wages were up by 4.9%. Excluding the 101,900 Hungarians in fostered work programmes, the average gross wage rose by 7.9% to 381,749 forints, while net wages grew at the same rate to 253,863 forints. Also excluding fostered workers, the average gross wage in the business sector, which includes state-owned companies, rose by 10.2% to 390,243 forints. The average wage in the public sector increased by 0.8% to 364,073 forints. Full-time fostered workers earned gross 82,506 forints in April, 0.4% less than a year earlier.
The data sources show that in January-April average gross monthly wage was highest in the finance and insurance sector, at 671,600 forints, and lowest in social health care services, at 234,000 forints. In January-April, gross wages rose by an annual 10.4% to 356,900 forints and were up by 9.4% without fostered workers at 367,400 forints. Excluding fostered workers, business sector gross wages rose by 11.3% and public sector wages rose by 4.1% in the period. Men employed full-time earned monthly gross 391,400 forints on average during the period, while women earned 322,900 forints. The rates rose by 11.3% and 9.2%, respectively, on an annual basis.
Analyst Péter Virovácz of ING Bank said the April single digit wage growth came as somewhat of a surprise, as it was last seen in January 2017. The slower pace of wage increases was certainly tied to lower wage increases in the government sector. Wages in the private sector still kept growing at a double digit rate, with the pace above average in the construction and manufacturing sectors and below average in some segments of the services sector. In 2019 wage growth could average around 10% in the economy as a whole. Analyst András Horváth of Takarékbank said wages could grow by a little more than 10% this year and real wage growth could be 6.5% with chances of it being higher. Wage growth in April was driven by a shortage of skilled labour and the increase of minimum wages for said skilled workers.