Statistics published on Tuesday, by Eurostat, show labour costs have increased more slowly in Belgium in the third quarter than in the rest of the eurozone. Labour costs in Belgium increased by 1.3% compared to the third quarter of 2016. This corresponds to an increase of 1.9% in wages and salaries, and a reduction of 0.3% in non-wage labour costs. In the second quarter of 2017, labour costs in Belgium had increased by 1.1%.
In the eurozone, and in the European Union, hourly labour costs increased respectively by 1.6% and 2.1% in the third quarter of 2017, compared to the same quarter of the previous year. The increase was also greater for Belgium’s main neighbours since wage costs increased by 2.2% in Germany, 1.7% in France and 1.9% in the Netherlands. This development is good news for Belgian business competitiveness.
In the third quarter of 2017, the most significant hourly labour cost increases in the economy as a whole were recorded in Romania (+16.5%), Hungary (+12.6%) as well as Bulgaria (+10.7%). That having been said, decreases were witnessed in Finland (-3.0%) and Portugal (-1.1%) over the third quarter.