Hungarian Conservative

Taking the Fight to Inflation: Online Price Monitoring System Comes Into Effect Soon

The price monitoring system will come into effect on 1 July, and is expected to contribute to pushing inflation back to single digits.

The online price monitoring system will come into effect on 1 July, the Ministry for Economic Development (GFM) informed MTI on Monday. According to the ministry’s statement, due to the war and misguided sanctions, energy prices have skyrocketed, supply chains have been damaged, and transportation costs have increased. This has led to an unprecedented inflation wave throughout Europe and has significantly increased food prices as well. The government’s goal is to break the sanctions-induced inflation to protect families, retirees, and jobs, and to stop further food price increases, the GFM emphasised. They reminded that the government has already decided on 20 measures to reduce inflation caused by the sanctions. The measures are working: inflation peaked in January and has since been decreasing, while food prices had begun to decline even earlier in December. Today, the retail chains are announcing discounts and competing with each other, the statement said.

To further reduce food prices and increase competition in retail, the government has decided on additional measures: from June, retail stores are required to have sales, and following the President of the Hungarian Competition Authority, Csaba Balázs Rigó’s proposal, it has been decided to introduce an online price monitoring database.

The GFM statement highlighted that a joint working group was formed in March 2023 with the participation of the Ministry for Economic Development, the Competition Authority, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Central Statistical Office, the Ministry of Justice, and the Consumer Protection Authority to develop the detailed rules of the price monitoring system.

The government has accepted the framework developed by the working group, so the online price monitoring system can come into effect on 1 July. The regulation applies to the largest commercial retail chains as providing data for the monitoring system is mandatory for those companies whose net revenue exceeds HUF 100 billion. In addition to collecting the data necessary for identifying the products, the price monitoring system will keep track of daily and regular prices by retailer and store.

The online database will initially contain the prices of more than 60 foodstuffs, including pork loin, white bread, 1.5 per cent ESL milk, cheese, red apples, sausages, margarine, butter, pasta, and sugar. During the determination of the daily price, the gross retail price cannot be taken into account if it was applied due to the product expiring within 72 hours. The data must be electronically uploaded by the trader on a daily basis, no later than the end of the day before the application of the daily and loyalty prices.

Retailers who are not subject to mandatory reporting obligations may voluntarily connect to the electronic system. The online price monitoring database is operated by the Hungarian Competition Authority. The government expects that the measure will provide the population and consumers with access to a database that allows for transparent comparison of consumer prices, according to the Ministry of Finance. The use of the price monitoring database significantly strengthens transparency, makes various pricing practices known, and prevents overpricing. Ultimately, the service contributes to increasing market competition in the retail sector in line with the interests of consumers, and overall, it helps to reduce inflation to a single digit by the end of the year.

Read more:

Price Cap to Remain Until 30 June, Inflation on a Downward Trajectory
The price monitoring system will come into effect on 1 July, and is expected to contribute to pushing inflation back to single digits.