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Photograph: Photo by Emilian Robert Vicol, used under CC BY

Hourly labour costs in the European Union (EU) rose in the last quarter of 2015, which was the same rate as the preceding quarter, whereas in Croatia the rise intensified, according to data released by Eurostat on Friday.

Overall hourly labour costs in Croatia in Q4 2015 increased by 0.7% compared with the same period the year before. Hourly labour costs in Q3 had increased by 0.2% on the year, Eurostat figures show.

The highest annual increases in hourly labour costs for the whole economy were registered in Romania (+11.4%), the Czech Republic (+8.6%), Latvia (+7.7%).

Decreases were recorded in Italy and Cyprus (both -0.8%), the Netherlands (-0.4%) and Luxembourg (-0.1%).

Annual growth in labour costs in the European Union were up 1.9% in the fourth quarter of 2015, which was the same rate as recorded in Q3, Eurostat said.

The two main components of labour costs are wages and salaries and non-wage costs or contributions on wages. 

In the EU28, hourly wages and salaries rose by 2.0% in Q4, which was 0.1 percentage points weaker than in Q3. The non-wage component increased by by 1.4% following a 1.2% growth in Q3.

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