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Taiwan average real earnings fall in '13

TAIPEI -- Real monthly earnings in Taiwan fell in the first 11 months of 2013 from a year earlier and were roughly at the same level recorded 15 years ago, according to statistics released by the government Wednesday.

Real monthly earnings, which consist of base salary, regular stipends, overtime pay, bonuses and dividends adjusted for inflation, averaged NT$44,681 (US$1,480.20) in Taiwan during the January to November period.

That was 0.45 percent lower than the year earlier period and less than the NT$44,883 registered in 1998.

The relatively flat real earnings over the past 15 years indicates that wages and bonuses have grown no faster than inflation, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said.

According to the figures, regular monthly salary, consisting of base salary and regular stipends, rose 0.95 percent year-on-year in the first 11 months to an average of NT$37,687, the highest since the DGBAS began to recording the figure in 1980.

Average monthly earnings, not adjusted for inflation, totaled N$45,896 during the period, up 0.38 percent from a year earlier.

But the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose at an annual rate of 0.83 percent from January to November 2013, driving monthly earnings lower in real terms than in 2012 and to a level last seen 15 years ago.

According to DGBAS data, the average real monthly earnings for the January-November period was 15.51 percent higher than in the same period in 1998, but the CPI rose 16.03 percent during that time, offsetting any income gains.

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