Real net wages decelerated their growth from 2.2% y/y in January to 1.9% y/y in February, according to figures of the statistical office. As a result, net wages grew at their slowest in the past four months, primarily due to the public sector, where wages eased their growth to only 1.3% y/y, a 10-month low. The deceleration was primarily due to the nominal component, as unadjusted net wages grew by 2.5% y/y in February, an 11-month low. This comes mostly because of the still delayed negotiations on wage levels in the public sector, as at the time the government hadn’t conceded yet on a compromise with unions. Private sector wages maintained their growth at 2.7% y/y, in real terms.
The biggest wage growth deterioration was seen in mining and quarrying, electricity and financial sectors, the former two possibly contributing for a lot of the slower growth in the public sector. Even then, public sector wages continue to outpace those in the private sector, which rather implies still a big degree of unreported income. Still, wage growth in Q1’18 looks to be more modest than in Q4’17, which is favorable in competitiveness terms.