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Economy in Brief

Italian Labor Costs Up Sharply In First Quarter
by Louise Curley June 16,2008

On a seasonally adjusted basis, total labor costs in Italy increased by 4.0% in the first quarter of 2008. This was the largest quarter to quarter increase in the history of the series, which extends back to the first quarter of 1996. Labor costs in industry, including construction rose 4.2% and those in the services rose 3.2%. These are also record increases as shown in the first chart.

On a seasonally unadjusted basis the year to year increase in total labor costs was 5.6% in the first quarter, Labor costs in industry including construction were up 6.0% on a year to year basis and labor costs in services were up 5.3%. Again these increases are the largest ever recorded as can be seen in the second chart.

The unadjusted data provide more information on the trends in labor costs in particular industries and services. The rise in labor costs was particularly marked in financial intermediation services, which rose 14% on a year to year basis in the first quarter. Among other services, labor costs in transport, storage and communication were up 5.1% on a year to year basis. Labor costs in the wholesale, retail trade and repairs were among the smallest increases,3.6%. In the industry sector, labor costs in the electric gas and water supply sector rose 7.1%, in manufacturing, 6.4% and in construction, 4.6%.

ITALY  Q1 08 Q4 07  Q1 07  Q/Q Chg Y/Y Chg 2007 2006 2005
Labor Costs (SA) (2000=100)
Total Industry and Services 125.4 120.6 118.5 3.98 -- 119.6 116.9 113.8
Industry Incl. Construction 128.6 123.4 120.8 4.21 -- 122.1 118.8 114.6
Services 121.3 117.6 115.5 3.15 -- 116.6 114.3 112.3
Labor Costs (NSA) (2000=100)
Total Industry and Services 116.2 137.4 110.0 -- 5.64 119.6 116.9 113.8
Industry Incl. Construction 119.9 142.2 113.1 -- 6.01 122.1 118.4 114.6
Services 112.1 132.2 106.3 -- 5.26 116.6 114.3 112.3
Manufacturing 121.0 146.7 113.7 -- 6.42 123.6 119.8 115.5
Electricity, Gas and Water 114.1 129.3 106.5 -- 7.14 122.3 117.6 114.0
Construction 124.5 136.6 119.0 -- 4.62 124.1 119.7 116.6
Wholesale and Retail Trade 110.0 136.8 106.2 -- 3.58 119.4 116.0 114.1
Financial Intermediation 129.2 135.9 113.2 -- 14.13 122.6 120.4 120.0
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