ECONOMIC REVIEW SECOND QUARTER 2022
In the first half of the year, construction industry production increased by 7% compared to a year earlier. At the end of June, the stock of contracts for the construction of buildings fell (-10.9%), while that of other constructions increased by almost the same amount (+10.4%). Due to the rapid price increase of some building materials, in the April-June period, prices rose by nearly 8% compared to the first quarter construction industry prices.
Retail turnover increased by 10% in the first half of the year compared to the same period of the previous year. The volume of food and food-related mixed retail increased by 2.2%, while the trade in fuel available at official prices increased by 30% since the end of 2021. Fuel consumption is not expected to drop in the third quarter either, as the official price for residential users is still in effect.
The turnover of commercial accommodation tripled compared to the previous year: 9.5 million guest nights were registered by the end of June. The passenger traffic of Liszt Ferenc International Airport (5.28 million) in the first half of this year exceeded the total traffic of last year.
The rapid increase in inflation continued in the middle of the year, and decade-long records were broken one after another. In June 2022, consumer prices were on average 11.7% higher than a year earlier. According to forecasts, this year's average consumer price increase may reach 12%. The price increase does not only affect our country; the global price increase is driven by the dynamic rise in energy and raw material prices. The partial elimination of the energy price subsidy is expected to have a significant impact on inflation at the end of the year; the population responded to the uncertainty by significantly reducing electricity consumption in July.
The unemployment rate continued to decrease: it was 3.3% at the end of June. The employment rate of 15-64-year-olds rose to 74.3%, and was the highest in the capital city (79.5%).
The net average earnings, calculated taking discounts into account, were 15.6% higher in May than a year earlier; the increase in the minimum wage also played a role in the increase. Since the end of 2021, the MNB has raised the base rate eight times, so it rose to 10.75% at the end of July. The weakening of the forint compared to the euro seems to last: according to analysts, the exchange rate may stabilize around 430 forints in the future.