Portugal is above average, with nominal labour costs per hour worked rising 6.2%, although it slowed down compared to the previous quarter when they grew 6.3%.

There are two major components to these costs: salaries and other charges. With regard to salaries, at the start of the year, they rose 5.3% in the single currency area and 5.8% in the community bloc compared to the same period last year.

In the last quarter of last year, these costs had increased by 3.2% and 3.9%, respectively, which means that they accelerated at the beginning of this year in both the Eurozone and the EU.

As for Portugal, the trend was reversed. Between January and March, nominal labour costs per hour worked rose, year-on-year, by 6.2%. In comparison, the variation recorded in the previous quarter was 6.3%, that is, in the national territory costs decreased at the start of the year. Even so, this increase of 6.2% was higher than both the community average and that of the single currency area, according to Eurostat data.

The biggest increases in labour costs, year-on-year, were in Romania (16.4%), Bulgaria (15.8%) and Croatia (15.3%). The smallest increases, year-on-year, were recorded in Belgium (2.3%), Denmark (2.5%) and France (2.7%).