The average gross wage in Hungary rose 13.0 percent year-on-year to 322,955 forints (EUR 1,047) in November, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Friday.
Net wages grew at the same pace as gross wages, also climbing 13.0 percent to 214,764 forints.
KSH noted that wages have been boosted by a higher minimum wage as well as pay increases in certain areas of the public sector and at state-owned utility companies.
Calculating with November twelve-month CPI of 2.5 percent, real wages were up 10.24 percent.
Excluding the 151,800 Hungarians in fostered work programmes in November, the average gross wage rose 11.6 percent to 337,147 forints, while net wages also increased 11.6 percent to 224,202 forints.
The number of fostered workers was slightly down compared to the 155,000 registered in October.
Full-time fostered workers earned gross 82,171 forints on average during the month, 1.8 percent more than in the same period a year earlier. Their number fell by an annual 24.1 percent.
January-November gross wages were up 12.8 percent with and rose 11.7 percent without fostered workers from a year earlier.
The number of employees was up 1.0 percent overall at 3,016,600 in November and rose 1.6 percent in January-November. Excluding fostered workers, the rise was 2.8 percent for November and 3.1 percent for the first eleven months.
Commenting on the data, Economy Minister Mihály Varga said wages had been rising continuously for the past 59 months.
Last year’s wage increases left consumers with an extra month’s worth of income, he said. Varga attributed the increase to the 15 percent rise in the minimum wage for unskilled workers and the 25 percent rise for skilled workers from the start of 2017, the expansion of the private sector workforce by 85,000 workers and the introduction of government career models. The minister said wages were likely to keep rising this year, adding that the 8 percent increase in the minimum wage for unskilled workers, the 12 percent increase for skilled workers and the further reduction of the payroll tax would be a good basis.
Analysts interviewed by MTI said gross wages increased in excess of expectations in November on growing qualified workforce shortage, wage agreements and public sector pay rises.
This year, wages are expected to continue growing, albeit more slowly, they added.
Analyst Dávid Németh of K and H Bank said he expected wages to grow slightly slower in 2018 than last year, predicting net wage growth of over 10 percent and real wage growth of 8 percent this year.
András Horváth of Takarékbank forecast average wage growth of 9 percent this year, with further increases in the minimum wage and the skilled minimum wage. Real wages could grow by more than 6 percent, considering the prospective CPI of 2.7 percent, he added.
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