Consumer prices in Hungary increased by 11.7% on average compared to a year earlier, according to a new report by the Central Statistical Office (KSH). This is the highest the country’s inflation rate has been since October 1998.
The prices for food items were 22.1% higher, nearly twice as much as the overall average.
In the European Union, only Lithuania and Bulgaria had a higher inflation rate for food products than Hungary. The harmonized consumer price index, an indicator allowing for comparison of inflation data among EU Member States, was almost 13% higher in May than in January, prior to the outbreak of the war in Ukraine
Prices for Hungarian bread and meat grew at the highest rate among EU countries, surpassing even Bulgaria. Looking at just chicken and pork, Hungary was in the 7th and 9th places, respectively, although pork legs, chicken breasts, chicken backs, and wing tips are being sold at official fixed prices.
Hungary also led the EU in terms of the rate of price increases for fruit, and was fourth-highest for vegetables, behind Romania, Lithuania, and Slovakia. The country was in second place for the increased cost of margarine, non-alcoholic drinks, and beer, and in fourth place for eggs.
The Hungarian government regulary refers to “wartime inflation,” claiming that these price increases are caused solely by the war and the European Union sanctions on Russia.
However, even before the war began, Hungary’s inflation rate was durably higher than the EU average. [444, 444]
The rising prices in Hungary are especially critical to most Hungarians due to the overall very low income conditions, which makes up the backbone of Fidesz’ economic policy.
In this situation, people must rely on back-yard produce for relief.
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