Salaries have bottomed out this year

Salaries in Greece appear to be bottoming out this year, with a rise expected in 2015 for the first time after a long period, according to the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).

Figures published by ELSTAT on Tuesday showed that in the third quarter of 2014 the general salary index posted a seasonally unadjusted increase after 16 quarters of continued decline. Similarly, in its intermediary report, the Bank of Greece expects that average gross salaries will grow next year after a five-year slide.

ELSTAT’s seasonally unadjusted data showed a 4.8 percent yearly rise in Q3, dropping to 2.1 percent after the seasonal adjustment.

The BoG estimates that average gross salaries in 2015 will advance by 0.1 percent, against an overall decline of 1.4 percent in 2014. The decline this year is attributed to the 6.3 percent pay cuts in the banking sector. Next year a 1 percent rise in salaries is expected in the non-banking private sector, along with a 0.4 percent increase in the public sector. Marginal though it may be, it constitutes a reversal of the downward trend.

The salary decline peaked in 2012, when pay shrank by 6.6 percent year-on-year.