Average nominal wages in Romania rose by 15% y/y in nominal terms to RON4,265 (€864) in January, fully matching the rise in consumer prices after they lagged behind inflation for most of 2022, according to data released by the statistics office INS.
The nominal growth thus nearly matched the 15.1% y/y inflation in the month, bringing the real wages back to the level of January 2022.
This is may partly explain the buoyant and unexpected 5.8% y/y rise in retail sales (+9.1% y/y for non-food sales) in the first month of 2023 – the strongest annual growth since December 2021.
The distribution of the growth may be another factor: low wages have increased more. In the manufacturing sector, the nominal wages increased by 20.5% y/y in January, to RON3,875, resulting in a +4.7% real y/y growth.