Hungarians buy sugar in bulk

Shops in eastern Austria have reported that Hungarians are engaging in panic-buying of sugar.Several managers of supermarkets and groceries in the Austrian province of Burgenland told local media today (Thurs) that their stocks of the product were sold out due to recent developments.Branch experts explain that Hungarians have started to cross the border to purchase large amounts of sugar due to a recent 30 per cent price hike of the food popular as a sweetener and baking ingredient in their country.The consumer price for one kilogram of sugar has meanwhile remained stable in Austria but economists recently warned that significant price increases were ahead for sugar and other foodstuff like bread and dairy products.The Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) said last month, it expected the average price rate for products and services in Austria to be 2.4 per cent higher this year than in 2010. The think tank announced only in December that a two per cent price hike was likely. The IHS explained that high and rising prices for mineral oil and feedstock were the main reasons behind the changed inflation forecast.Federal statistic agency Statistik Austria said earlier this week that the year on year inflation in Austria rose by 2.4 per cent in January. The agency explained this was the highest increase since October 2008.