Wages in real terms have been rising for five years; this means Hungarian families have a growing amount of money at their disposal. Thanks to double-digit real wage growth, people who earn their living from work have received extra income worth more than one month of wage last year in comparison to 2016. Taking into account family tax allowances, real wages have increased by 36 percent since 2010 -- twice the pace of growth observed in 2002-2010, under the Socialist-Liberal governments.

The largest wage growth was recorded in Jasz-Nagykun-Szolnok, Heves, Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg and Nograd Counties last year. This implies that regional wage differences have diminished. Thanks to the six-year wage agreement and public sector wage hikes, average gross and net wages were up by 12.9 percent in 2017, the largest increase since 2002.

Average net wages, including family tax allowances, rose to HUF 205 000 per month, up by 54 percent since 2010, due largely to tax cuts and the rising amount of incentives for families.

Public sector wages in real terms, excluding public work employees, increased by 10.4 percent last year, and thus the gap between private and public sector wages continued to narrow.

Real-term wage growth was also substantial in private sector jobs, averaging 9 percent last year. The 8 percent and 12 percent increase of the minimum wage and guaranteed minimum wage, respectively, as of 1 January 2018 as well as tax reductions will this year also help narrow the gap with wages in the region.