The average gross monthly wage in Hungary grew by an annual 11.9 percent to 306,507 forints (EUR 988) in February, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Friday.
Net wages climbed at the same pace to reach 203,826 forints.
Calculating with annualised CPI of 1.9 percent in January, real wages rose by 9.8 percent.
Excluding workfare employees, the average gross wage rose by 10.6 percent to 318,511 forints.
Gross wages in the private sector, which includes state-owned companies, were up 10.6 percent at 316,606 forints, without fostered workers. Gross wages in the public sector increased by 10.7 percent to 327,992 forints.
In January-February, gross wages were up 12.9 percent with and rose by 11.7 percent without fostered workers from a year earlier. Excluding fostered workers, business sector gross wages grew by 11.8 percent and public sector wages increased by 11.2 percent in the period.
The number of employees was up 1.4 percent overall at 3,115,400 in February and rose by 1.3 percent to 3,026,900 in January-February.
Excluding the 81,619 fostered workers at the end of the second month of the year, the rise was 3 percent in February and 2.9 percent in the first two months.
The number of business sector employees rose by 3.3 percent to 2,121,000 in February without the fostered workers in the sector. The number rose 3.2 percent in January-February.
Without fostered workers, the number of public sector employees was up 1.6 percent at 703,800 in February. The January-February figure was up 1.6 percent year on year at 703,100.
State secretary for public finances Péter Benő Bánai, commenting the KSH figures, said that it was realistic to expect wage growth of more than 10 percent this year. Wage growth boosts economic performance across the board, he told public news channel M1. Based on wage data from the first two months of this year, economic growth is likely to be above 4 percent this year, he added.
András Horváth of Takarékbank told MTI that the bank’s analysts expect annual wage growth to reach 10 percent in 2018 due to shortages of qualified albour, significant wage rises in the public sector and the minimum wage rises. He estimated real wage growth of close to 7.5 percent in 2018. He added that the pace of the increase could slow down due to last year’s stronger base figures.
Dávid Németh of K and H Bank forecast 10 percent wage growth in gross and net terms this year and 8 percent wage growth in real terms.
Analyst Péter Virovácz of ING Bank and Gergely Ürmössy agreed that annual wage growth could reach double-digit figures again this year.