Labor cost growth in euro area rises to 1.6% in Q4
After 1.4% in the three months through September, hourly labor costs in the Eurozone increased 1.6% on an annual basis in the fourth quarter of last year, Eurostat said on Monday. The modest advance was partly muted by a deceleration in the measure for the whole European Union, which came in 0.1 percentage points lower at 1.7%.
In the 19-member monetary union, the wages component grew 1.6% from the same period of the previous year, against 1.5% registered in the third quarter. The previous figure was mended slightly downward. Growth in the EU slipped from 1.9% to 1.8%. Other costs moved up by 1.5% in the euro area, 0.5 points more than in the prior three months, while in the 28 countries of the block the item's increase year over year accelerated from 1.4% to 1.5%, the report said.
Gains in overall labor costs were led by construction activities, and services lagged the most. The highest rise of the headline gauge was in Romania and Lithuania – 12.3% and 10.7%, respectively, while the only declines were in Greece, 0.5%, and Austria, 0.1%. Belgium saw the biggest drop in other costs, 1.6% on an annual basis, against jumps of 12.5% in both Latvia and Romania on the other end of the scale. Wages in Greece tumbled 2%, followed by the only remaining decline in a national subindex – the decrease of 0.2% in Austria.