Orban, in power since 2010, is scrambling to shore up his popularity as he faces his first competitive election in April after three successive landslides. Six ideologically diverse opposition parties have joined forces against his populist administration under an energetic political outsider.

The decision on power prices, announced by Orban's chief of staff on Thursday, comes a week after the government capped fuel prices below current retail prices for a three-month period from Nov. 15. The move is expected to cause losses to oil and gas group MOL, which has repeatedly declined to comment.

"This (decision today) means small businesses will pay a reduced energy price..., those who have fewer than 10 employees," Gergely Gulyas told an online briefing.

During its first term from 2010 to 2014, Orban's government cut power and gas prices for households, causing losses to energy distributors. Later Hungary nationalised several utility companies as part of a drive to lower energy prices and has kept those lower prices in place for households ever since. This measure helped Orban get re-elected.

"It should be clear for everyone that as long as this government is in power, there is a reduction in energy prices and now small businesses will become part of this," Gulyas said.

Hungary's central bank has said headline inflation will exceed 7% in November.

Earlier on Thursday the bank raised its one-week deposit rate by 70 basis points to 2.5% following a benchmark interest rate hike on Tuesday, and pledged to continue the tightening as long as necessary.