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Euro zone Q1 labour cost rise slowest in 5 years
June 17, 2014 / 9:17 AM / 3 years ago

Euro zone Q1 labour cost rise slowest in 5 years

BRUSSELS, June 17 (Reuters) - Wage growth in the euro zone
decelerated to its slowest pace in at least five years in the
first quarter and the number of available jobs in the bloc rose
for the second consecutive quarter, official data showed on
    The slowing pace of labour cost growth in the 18 countries
sharing the euro is the latest sign that their competitiveness
in the global economy continued to improve in the first three
months of the year.
    Annual labour costs growth nearly halved to 0.9 percent at
the beginning of the year from 1.6 percent in the last quarter
of 2013, EU's statistics office Eurostat data showed.
    It was the slowest growth since the first quarter of 2009,
when Eurostat data series starts.
    As part of the overall labour costs, wages grew more slowly
at 1.5 percent in the first quarter against 2.0 percent in the
last three months of 2013.
    Labour costs in Germany, the euro zone's growth engine, rose
1.1 percent in the first quarter, only half of what they grew in
the previous quarter.
    Southern periphery countries were mixed.
    While Italy, the euro zone's third biggest economy, saw
labour costs falling 0.1 percent on the year, Portugal, which
exited its international bailout in May, had labour costs rising
1.5 percent on the year in the three months to March.
    In a separate data release Eurostat started to publish job
vacancy figures for the euro zone, paid jobs for which employers
were looking for suitable candidates. The rate is a proportion
of the number of vacant jobs to all jobs, vacant and taken,
expressed as a percentage.
    The job vacancy rate in the euro zone rose to 1.7 percent in
the first quarter from 1.6 percent in the last quarter of 2013.
    The highest job vacancy rates in the first quarter of 2014
were recorded in Germany with 2.9 percent and Belgium with 2.0.
For Q1 labour costs TABLE pls see ... 
For more details on economic indicators pls see: here

 (Reporting by Martin Santa)

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