Alex Brittain
Wall Street Journal
September 16, 2013

Workers in some of the euro zone’s hardest-hit economies suffered steep falls in pay in real terms in the second quarter, as earnings growth across the 17-nation currency bloc sank to a near three-year low.

Official data Monday laid bare the euro zone’s painful, drawn-out process of rebalancing, as its weaker members—lacking the ability to devalue their currency—endure high rates of unemployment and stagnant or falling wages in a bid to become more competitive.

Officials hope the result will be healthier economies in the south that export more and consume and borrow less, as well as higher rates of consumption in the north. That would help resolve a long-standing imbalance in the euro zone, seen by many as an underlying cause for the fiscal crisis that has threatened the bloc’s existence.

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