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Germany: Real wages are falling more and more due to high inflation


Prices in Germany are currently rising much faster than wages. As a result, real wages fell by 5.7 percent between July and September - the highest loss since the survey began.

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Banknotes in wallet: income depleted

Photo: Monika Skolimowska / dpa

Persistently high inflation is increasingly devaluing people's salaries in Germany.

In the third quarter, they were nominally 2.3 percent higher than in the same period of the previous year, but were more than eaten up by the 8.4 percent increase in consumer prices.

According to further calculations by the Federal Statistical Office, this results in a real wage loss, i.e. adjusted for price developments, of 5.7 percent.

This is the highest loss since the statistics were introduced in 2008, the agency reports.

In the previous three quarters, people had already had to accept losses in real wages.

The values ​​increased from -1.4 percent in the final quarter of 2021 to -1.8 percent at the beginning of the year to -4.4 percent in the second quarter of 2022. Statistically, such a long period of real wage losses has not yet occurred.

The gross salaries including special payments are included in the nominal wages.

Eight minutes of work for half a pound of butter

For a more precise picture of the current situation, the German Economic Institute published a different, clear calculation a few days ago: How long do you have to work in order to be able to afford certain everyday things?

And how has this working time changed during the crisis?

For their answers, the researchers use average values ​​from the Federal Statistical Office.

The results were particularly ugly in the case of food.

Whereas a consumer had to work six minutes for half a pound of branded butter in 2019, it was already eight minutes in October – an increase of a third.

A quarter more working time has to be invested for ten eggs than in 2019, and twelve percent more for bread.

Steak has also increased: it takes 36 minutes to produce a kilogram of beef today, compared to 30 minutes in the last year before the crisis.

Working hours for energy have also risen sharply.


Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-11-29

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