High inflation is causing real wages in Germany to shrink further and further.

In the third quarter from July to September, wages were 2.3 percent higher on paper than in the same period last year, as the Federal Statistical Office announced on Tuesday.

At the same time, however, consumer prices rose by 8.4 percent - real wages fell by 5.7 percent.

According to the statistics, this is the sharpest and longest-lasting drop in real wages since the time series began in 2008.

The employees in Germany had to accept a drop in real wages for the fourth quarter in a row, as the statisticians emphasized: In the second quarter from April to June, real wages fell by 4.4 percent, in the first quarter by 1.8 percent and in the last quarter 2021 by 1.4 percent compared to the respective quarter of the previous year.

For the year as a whole, real wages contracted in both 2020 and 2021 after several years of growth.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, real wages fell by 1.1 percent in 2020, when the corona pandemic broke out, compared to 0.1 percent last year.

In the coming year, however, the chances are not bad that the decline will be at least significantly smaller.

The economists expect that the inflation rate will weaken slightly - from an average of 8.0 percent in the year that is coming to an end to 7.4 percent.

In addition, the trade unions in many sectors have also been able to push through strong wage agreements in view of the sharp rise in prices.

The approximately 3.9 million employees in the metal and electrical industry, for example, will receive 8.5 percent more money in two steps and a one-off payment of EUR 3,000 net.

The European Central Bank (ECB) wants to prevent prices and wages from mutually oscillating and inflation from becoming entrenched.

So far, economists see no evidence of a wage-price spiral in Germany.

At 10.4 percent, the rate of inflation in Germany is currently higher than it has been since 1951, because energy has become significantly more expensive as a result of the Russian war against Ukraine.

Groceries are now much more expensive.