LABOUR COSTS RISING FASTER IN SOME NEW MEMBER STATES.

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Total hourly labour costs in the euro-zone economy grew by 3.1% in nominal terms in the first quarter of 2005 compared to the first three months of 2004, according to Eurostat. In the last three months of 2004 the rate of growth was down to 2.5%. In the EU25, the annual rise was 3.4% in the first quarter of 2005, compared to 2.9% in the previous quarter, Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, announced on June 21.

Among member states for which first-quarter data is available, the smallest annual rises were recorded in Germany (1.2%)...

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