BUCHAREST, March 9 (Reuters) - Romania's average net wages rose 12.9 percent on the year in nominal terms in January to 1,355 lei ($400) and were down 9.0 percent from December, data from the National Statistics Board (INS) showed on Monday.
Economists expect wage growth to slow sharply this year as the global cash squeeze hits many companies across Romania and eases pressure on the country's tight labour market.
Fast wage growth has been a major worry for the central bank, which is struggling to contain inflation. Prices have been fanned by import-fed domestic consumption which has also bloated the current account deficit.
However, domestic demand is expected to contract sharply this year because of the global financial crisis.The centre-left government plans to hike wages by 5 percent this year, after years of double-digit wage hikes by the previous cabinet.
JAN '09 DEC '08 JAN 08 DEC '07
Net average wage 1,355 1,489 1,200 1,266 (lei)
Change y/y +12.9 +17.6 +30.7 +15.2 (pct)