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4th October, 2018

Retail trade expands quickly in August

Retail trade volume was 6.3% higher, year-on-year in August, exceeding expectations, while workday adjusted figures show a 6.8% rise, up from 5.3% in July, the Central Statistics Office announced on Wednesday.

Food sales were up 4.1% by volume, non-food sales increased by 10.7% and fuel sales rose by 6.2%.

Retail trade volume over the first eight months was 6.7% higher than in the same period of last year.

Workday-adjusted retail trade volume showed increases of 5.3% in July and 6.3% in June. (ksh.hu; napi.hu; portfolio.hu; hvg.hu; magyarhirlap.hu; magyaridok.hu)
4th October, 2018

Mortgage loans at new high this year

The total amount of new home purchase loans was up 44% year-on-year in August, while free purpose personal loans went up by 27% and consumer credits doubled, MNB announced on Wednesday.

In the first eight months, households took out a record Ft 564 billion in home mortgage loans, exceeding the Ft 543 billion of 2003 and the Ft 562 billion of 2008.

However, total household loans are at only 70% of the 2008 level because free purpose mortgage loans that were very popular then are curbed now.

MNB has had success in inducing households and banks to prefer home purchase loans with longer terms and fixed interest rates. New home purchase loans with a fixed rate for five or more years made up 45% of the total in August, up from 25% one year earlier. (portfolio.hu; napi.hu; nepszava.hu; hvg.hu)
4th October, 2018

EU supports small business tax

EU finance ministers have agreed that Hungary may expand the sphere of small businesses eligible for preferential tax rates, Finance Minister Mihaly Varga announced on Wednesday.

As a result, the annual revenue limit for small businesses opting for the simplified tax Kata without VAT payments may increase from the present Ft 8 million to Ft 12 million next year, Varga added

He estimated that this affects 600,000 taxpayers.

All Kata taxpayers will therefore be exempt from VAT payments, as the annual revenue ceiling for eligibility is Ft 12 million after the government doubled it in 2017.

Varga underlined that the government aims to establish a unified and simple form of tax for small businesses. (napi.hu; hvg.hu; portfolio.hu; magyarhirlap.hu; magyaridok.hu)
4th October, 2018

EP suggests VAT ceiling of 25%

The European Parliament yesterday approved a European Commission proposal to place a 25% ceiling on VAT in member states.

Among member states Hungary’s 27% rate is the only VAT rate above 25%, Portfolio notes.

Yesterday’s decision means that member states have to establish a local VAT system with a weighted average tax rate of 12%.

The VAT system must have three rates depending on products: preferential rates of 0% and 5% and an ordinary rate of 15-25%.

A website will be created to provide information for SMEs on all VAT regimes within the union, to ease cross-border activities.

The suggestions approved by the EP will be discussed by the European Council, which must grant final approval. (portfolio.hu; hvg.hu; index.hu; origo.hu; magyarhirlap.hu; nepszava.hu)
4th October, 2018

Hungarians buying more spirits

Consumers spent Ft 89 billion on buying spirits from shops in the 12-months from September 2017 to August 2018, up 10% from a year earlier, market researcher Nielsen found.

The share of bitters was the highest at 27%, as consumers spent Ft 24 billion on such beverages.

Vodka came second with 24% and palinka third with 17%. Whisky products accounted for 13% of the total, liqueurs 7%, brandy drinks 5%, rum 4%, vermouth 2% and gin 1%. (index.hu; hvg.hu; 444.hu)

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