Workers’ purchasing power suffers biggest fall in 27 years
Labor Ministry reveals that salary increases are lagging further behind rate of inflation
Figures released Monday by the Labor Ministry revealed that salary increases as part of collective agreements in the year up to September were 1.3 percent, compared with an inflation rate of 3.4 percent. That, combined with higher personal income taxes under the government’s austerity drive, means that the spending power of workers has suffered its biggest fall in 27 years, helping drive the economy into recession once more.
Given that it heralded historically low interest rates, no one dared criticize Spain’s entry into the single-currency bloc. But, deprived of its own monetary policy and with fiscal policy hostage to the imperative of reducing the budget deficit, the only way Spain’s economy can recover competitiveness is by containing salaries and prices. But high inflation has scuppered that approach.