April 9 (Reuters) - Italian annual wage inflation slowed for a fifth month running in February to 1.4 percent from 1.5 percent the month before, posting its lowest rate since September, statistics office ISTAT said on Tuesday.
On a month on month basis, hourly wages were unchanged in February following a 0.5 percent increase in January. ISTAT released both January and February figures on Tuesday.
Wages were running well below the consumer price inflation rate, which stood at 1.9 percent in February and 2.2 percent in January, based on the main domestic NIC index.
Declining purchasing power has eroded consumer morale, and the political impasse caused by February's inconclusive national election has further undermined confidence.
The euro zone's third-largest economy has been in recession since the middle of 2011 and most analysts forecast only a marginal recovery toward the end of the year.
In December, the highest y/y wage increases were posted by workers in the food, beverage and tobacco industry (+3.6 pct), the leather and clothing industry (+2.8 pct), and the restaurant, bar and hotel industry (+2.7 pct).
There were significant revisions to previous months because of a re-basing of the index, which occurs every five years.
ISTAT gave the following data:
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