Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Romanian net wage up 17.6 pct y/y in December

BUCHAREST, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Romania's average net wages rose 17.6 percent on the year in nominal terms in December to 1,489 lei ($452) and were up 9.4 percent from November, data from the National Statistics Board (INS) showed on Wednesday.

Fast wage growth is a worry for the central bank, which is struggling to contain inflation. This has been fanned by import-fed domestic consumption which has also bloated the current account deficit.

Romania has attracted hefty foreign direct investment in recent years, lured by cheap labour and a 16-percent flat tax on income and profits.

However, the double-digit wage rises and a shortage of skilled labour is worrying some investors as more than one in 10 Romanians have left the country to seek better pay abroad.

Expectations have risen in recent months that the global cash squeeze which has cut demand and hastened recession across much of the globe will hurt Romanian jobs this year.

DEC '08 NOV '08 DEC 07 NOV '07
Net average wage 1,489 1,361 1,266 1,121 (lei)
Change y/y +17.6 +21.4 +15.2 +23.5 (pct)

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