Facebook Blogging

Edward Hugh has a lively and enjoyable Facebook community where he publishes frequent breaking news economics links and short updates. If you would like to receive these updates on a regular basis and join the debate please invite Edward as a friend by clicking the Facebook link at the top of the right sidebar.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Construction Down And Wages Up In September

Output in Hungary's construction industry fell again in September - down 1.4% over the August level - although on a seasonal and working day adjusted basis it was up slightly (by 0.3%) over September 2007, according to data out this week from the Central Statistics Office (KSH).

Construction industry new orders on the other hand were down 9.0% over September 2007 following a 9.2% annual drop in August. New orders for buildings were down 20.4% while civil engineering orders were up slightly (3.6%). If we look at the seasonal and working day adjusted monthly index chart (which is the best general measure of output at this point - see below) we can see that output levels are now well below those of 2006, and there is little prospect of any substantial recovery in the foreseeable future.

Real Wages Continue To Rise In September

Real wages in both the public and private sectors continued to move up in Hungary in September, despite the evidently very difficult macroeconomic and financial situation of the country. Hungarian gross wages were up by 8.4% year on year in September, up sharply from a downward adjusted 7.1% in August. Real wage growth came out at an annual 1.6% in September (given that inflation fell to 5.7% and net wages were up 7.4%). The latest figure compares with near-zero levels in recent months. More importantly perhaps, the closely watched ex-bonus wage growth in the private sector was up by an annual 9.0% (from 7.6% in August) while in the public sector it came to 6.4% (from 6.2% in August). This means that real ex-bonus wage growth in the private sector was 3.3% (see chart below).

At the same time the number of people employed in companies with at least 5 employees fell by 4,000 people in September to 2.741 million, down by about 5,000 over September 2007. The biggest fall in private sector employment only came in October, so the current statistics do not yet show this impact. While the number of those employed in the public sector rose a little in September (a normal seasonal phenomenon) in annual terms there were 2.3% fewer people (725,000 employed) working in the public sector.

No comments: