Using figures from the Eurostat statistics agency, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) shows that the price of the most basic food stuffs is still rising up to seven times faster than wages. The price of olive oil is 75% higher than it was in January 2021, while there have been substantial increases in the price of potatoes (53%), eggs (37%) and butter (27%). By contrast, the ETUC shows that nominal wages have increased by 11% in the EU and 10% in the Euro area over the last three years. The confederation has also challenged the International Monetary Fund over its analysis of wages and inflation and particularly its call for wage restraint in Central and Eastern Europe. The ETUC argues with nominal compensation below the European average, a declining wage share and no evidence of a wage-price spiral, there is scope and a need for pay increases in these countries.
ETUC puts spotlight on food inflation
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An ETUC analysis reveals how families will be forced to cut back on Christmas dinner this year as a result of food prices rising up to seven times faster than wages. The ETUC found that food prices – the second highest contributor to inflation after energy – have increased by 18% across the European Union since last winter. In contract, the latest figures indicate that nominal wages are expected to have increased by 4.4% in the EU by the end of this year. The sharpest increases are happening in Slovenia, where food prices are rising 7.6 times quicker than wages, followed by Sweden (6.4), Spain