German wages rose at their fastest pace in almost four years at the start of 2013 and euro zone exports jumped in April, giving the bloc a basis for a recovery from its long recession.
Nominal hourly labor costs rose 3.9 percent in Germany in the first quarter, the EU’s statistics office Eurostat said on Monday, faster than the overall euro zone rate of 1.6 percent. It was Germany’s biggest jump since the first three months of 2009.
Higher wages in Europe’s largest economy should mean German shoppers have more cash to splash out on Spanish holidays, Italian cars and Portuguese wine, potentially helping depressed southern Europe out of its downturn.
That stands in contrast to the pay cuts and job losses in much of the euro zone that have hurt the bloc because consumer spending makes up about half of the economy.
In another positive sign, euro zone exports to the rest of the world grew 9 percent in April while imports only rose 1 percent, giving the 17 countries sharing the single currency a trade surplus of 14.9 billion euros ($20 billion).
via Reuters 
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