Growth was uneven across eurozone countries, with Germany

The index of real wages in Germany rose by 1.2 percent on average in 2019, according to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) on Wednesday.

Nominal wages in Germany increased by 2.6 percent year-on-year in 2019, while consumer prices rose by 1.4 percent, provisional figures by Destatis showed. The trend of previous years, in which the gross earnings of employees rose faster than consumer prices, had continued in Germany, Destatis noted.

“Real wages in Germany have continuously increased for the last 10 years. This is an encouraging development,” Christoph Schroeder, senior researcher at the German Economic Institute (IW), told Xinhua on Wednesday. “Although the labor market is still strong, Germany’s competitiveness has declined significantly,” Schroeder warned.

The German industry had “already recorded lower order numbers and we expect only moderate growth of real wages in the future.” Despite the rise in nominal wages, Germany’s trade union ver.di criticized that the minimum wage currently at 9.35 euros (10.2 U.S. dollars) per hour “was considerably too low” and demanded to raise it to at least 12 euros per hour. Germany had one of the “largest low-wage sectors in Europe,” Ralf Kraemer, union secretary at ver.di, told Xinhua.

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