Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 1.3% in March 2021, up from 0.9% in February according to a flash estimate from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In Cyprus inflation is expected to be 0.1% in March 2021, up from -0.9% in February 2021. In Greece inflation is expected to be -2.0% in March 2021, from -1.9% in February 2021.
Looking at the main components of euro area inflation, energy is expected to have the highest annual rate in March (4.3%, compared with -1.7% in February), followed by services (1.3%, compared with 1.2% in February), food, alcohol & tobacco (1.1%, compared with 1.3% in February) and non-energy industrial goods (0.3%, compared with 1.0% in February).
Meanwhile, according to Eurostat, in 2020, average hourly labour costs in the whole economy (excluding agriculture and public administration) were estimated to be €28.5 in the EU and €32.3 in the euro area, up compared to €27.7 and €31.4 respectively in 2019.
The average hourly labour costs mask significant gaps between EU Member States, with the lowest hourly labour costs recorded in Bulgaria (€6.5), Romania (€8.1) and Hungary (€9.9), and the highest in Denmark (€45.8), Luxembourg (€42.1) and Belgium (€41.1). In Cyprus the average hourly labour is €17.0. There are no data available for Greece.
Hourly labour costs in industry were €28.8 in the EU and €34.8 in the euro area. In construction, they were €25.6 and €29.0 respectively. In services, hourly labour costs were €28.2 in the EU and €31.1 in the euro area. In the mainly non-business economy (excluding public administration), they were €29.7 and €33.1 respectively.
The two main components of labour costs are wages & salaries and non-wage costs (e.g. employers` social contributions). The share of non-wage costs in total labour costs for the whole economy was 24.5% in the EU and 25.0% in the euro area.