Hourly labour costs increased at a slower rate in Belgium than in the rest of the euro zone in the third quarter of this year, according to statistics published on Tuesday by the European statistical office, Eurostat. The cost of labour in the country rose by 1.3% compared to the corresponding period of last year, with salaries and wages going up by 1.9% and non-wage costs decreasing by 0.3%.
In the second quarter of 2017, the cost of labour in Belgium had gone up by 1.1% compared to the same period last year.
In the euro zone and the European Union (EU), hourly labour costs increased by 1.6% and 2.1% respectively in the third quarter of this year over the corresponding period of last year.
The increase was also higher in Belgium’s main neighbours: wage costs went up by 2.2% in Germany, 1.7% in France, and 1.9 % in the Netherlands, which is good news for the competitiveness of Belgian companies.
The highest hourly labour cost increases were registered in Roumania (+16.5%), Hungary (+12.6%) and Bulgaria (+10.7%). On the other hand, the highest drops in labour costs were registered in Finland (-3.0%) and Portugal (-1.1%)