The latest data from Statistics Poland, a state agency, reveal that wages in Poland reached their highest ever level in December, reports Business Insider.
The new record, based on a salary average for companies employing over 10 people, is now 5,604 zloty (around €1,300) per month gross. That represents a 6.2% year-on-year rise, slightly higher than the average forecast of economists. It also marks a 7.2% increase on November’s figure.
Wages usually hit a record high in December notes Aleksandra Świątkowska, an economist at the BOŚ Bank, because in that month “the accumulation of bonuses raises salaries and thus overstates the statistics”.
The rate of employment also remained stable, confirming that the economy had not slowed. However, according to Business Insider, forecasters are warning that an economic slowdown may be observed in 2020, after limited salary growth over the last few months, driven by a weakening labour demand. GDP growth also decelerated in the third quarter, with a year-on-year figure of 3.9%, an almost three-year low and down from 4.6% in June.
It is predicted that the wage results for January may be impacted by the increase in the minimum wage, though evidence of the negative trend will remain. The minimum wage has risen to 2,600 zloty this year, a jump of 15.6%. This is the first stage in government plans to almost double the wage floor by 2023, from 2,250 zloty today to 4,000 zloty.
But this increase has been met with concerns from some economists. In September, news website Onet reported an internal analysis by the finance ministry which suggested that the planned increase may continue consumer price rises, as well as growth in the grey economy. The report also suggested that low-qualified workers may have difficulties finding jobs.
Earlier this year, it was reported that Polish inflation had hit its highest level since 2012, with the consumer price index (CPI) inflation rate reaching a year-on-year level of 3.4% in December. In November, the International Monetary Fund forecast that Poland would have the highest inflation in the EU in 2020.