BUSINESS SHORTS

Average real wage to exceed 1989 level

THE SLOVAK Finance Ministry's Financial Policy Institute has calculated that the average nominal wage should exceed 1989 levels for the first time, reaching Sk20,030 (€590) on 2.4-percent inflation in 2007, the SITA newswire wrote. This is 0.1 percent higher than before the regime change.

If accurate, this would mean that the real wage has increased by 40.5 percent since independence in 1993. The net wage will remain under the 1989 level, because at that time, income and payroll taxes did not take up so much of the wage. The net wage should reach 1989's level in 2010.

The fact that gross incomes are reaching the 1989 level does not mean that the Slovak standard of living has lagged. Most things that influence the quality of life are better than they were when the regime collapsed, the Sme daily wrote. For example, the availability and quality of goods have increased as well as the availability of education.

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