Inflation of food prices in Hungary decreased for first time in 20 months, but we are still way ahead of rest of EU

February 23. 2023. – 03:05 PM



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Scoffers received a snappy retort: food inflation actually fell in Hungary in January, while the EU average rose. The fact that Hungary's 48.2% food inflation is still light years ahead of the rest of the EU is another matter.

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, published its January 2023 inflation figures on Thursday. As we reported, Hungary's 26.2 percent inflation is already more than two and a half times the EU average.

According to KSH (Hungarian Central Statistical Office) data, apart from household energy and heating, which were exempt from the cuts in the Hungarian energy bill, skyrocketing food prices have been the main contributor to the month-on-month inflation, which has been breaking decades-old records. The Office of Economic Competition is already investigating whether retailers actions have driven up food prices.

According to Eurostat, food price inflation crept up to 49.6% in Hungary December. The good news is that the enormous pace of growth seems to have come to a halt. In January, food inflation in Hungary fell for the first time in 20 months. Down 1.4 percent, it is now only 48.2 percent.

This is also shown in the graph below:

It is clear from the graph that we don't have much to brag about in Hungary. Although the EU average continued to rise, but only by 0.2 percent. The Hungarian figure is still more than two and a half times the EU average.
What is even more striking is that Hungary is not even close to the other Member States. Hungarian food inflation is one and a half times higher than in Lithuania, which is second on the list.

The best performers are Cyprus (10.3), Luxembourg (12.1) and Malta (12.1 per cent), while at the other end of the scale, Hungary and Lithuania are followed by Slovakia (28.6) and two other Baltic states, Estonia and Latvia (both at 28.5 per cent).

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