German real earnings dip for first time in four years | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 28.03.2014
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German real earnings dip for first time in four years

Germany's statistics office has found employees' real-terms wages have declined as nominal increases have not been able to fully compensate inflation. The figures marked a change from the previous years of income gains.

For the first time since the recession in 2009, German workers earned less in real terms last year than the previous one, the National Statistics Office (Destatis) reported Friday.

Real earnings dipped slightly by 0.1 percent, compared with 2012 figures after rising by at least 0.5 percent annually in the three previous years.

Gross monthly incomes rose by 1.4 percent in 2013, but a slightly higher 1.5-percent rise in consumer prices meant that employees were left with less in their pockets.

Wage disparities

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Destatis noted that one reason for the relatively small increase in nominal earnings was the small rise in income observed in companies not bound by collective wage agreements.

"On the other hand, a decline in extra payments also contributed to the end result," the office said in a press release, alluding to the fact that many firms had stopped paying extra holiday-related bonuses or Christmas-season bonuses.

Destatis said a typical full-time employee received roughly 45,500 euros ($62,400) in gross wages last year, with those working in the banking and insurance sectors getting most and employees in the catering and hotel industry being at the lower end of the table.

hg/msh (dpa, Reuters)

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