Thanks to the flourishing labour market, nominal disposable income rose by 3.9%.
In real terms, it increased by 2.1%, given consumer inflation of 1.8%.
Gross wages in 2017 were up by 4.4%, driven by a 2.7% increase in gross
wages per employee to EUR 2,861 a month and 1.7% employment growth.
Productivity per hour worked inched up by 1% in 2017. Average compensation,
per employee and per hour worked, rose by 2.5%, well above productivity
growth. As a consequence, unit labour cost advanced by 1.5% (per hours) resp.
1.8% (per persons), which weighed on the profitability of the business sector.
The gradual narrowing of the gap versus the other larger EMU countries, which
started after the crisis, has therefore continued.
But when 2000 is taken as a base year, Germany still enjoys a substantially more modest ULC rise than most