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German firms plan 6.2% wage hike in Hungary in ‘09

  German firms operating in Hungary plan an average 6.2% wage hike next year and expect no major layoffs due to the global financial crisis, according to a study published on Thursday.

 

The research, commissioned by the German-Hungarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, showed headline wages at German-held firms rose by 8.5% this year or 2.2% in real terms, slightly above a projection in last year’s survey. German firms based in Hungary account for roughly 15% of GDP, the chamber said, adding that their wage increases strongly correlate to those in the broader economy.

“We believe that these effects will not manifest so strongly next year, so the prognosis will reflect reality rather accurately,” Maria Smid, a representative for consultancy firm Kienbaum told a news conference through an interpreter.

The survey was completed in October, shortly before Hungary secured a $25.1 billion IMF-led rescue loan to stave off financial collapse, but Smid said that alone was unlikely to materially change its findings. “There are few industries that this crisis affects so acutely, obviously one of them is the financial sector, and construction,” Smid said. “For the time being, firms are in a wait-and-see mode ... there are hardly any (German-owned) firms that would have announced large-scale layoffs,” she said. (Reuters)