The latest Salary Trends survey by ECA International (ECA) has suggested Hong Kongers will see their salaries increase by four per cent in 2018, for the third year in a row. After inflation, predicted to be 2.2 per cent next year, employees are expected to see a real salary increase of 1.8 per cent in 2018. This keeps Hong Kong near the bottom of the salary increase table in Asia, ranking 16th out of 20 countries surveyed in the region.
Lee Quane, regional director – Asia at ECA International said: “Although the real salary increases we expect to see next year are low compared to the rest of the region, on a global scale, salaries in Hong Kong are still rising relatively fast. In addition, the increases are also respectable compared with other developed economies. This reflects the need for companies to continue to use pay increases as a means of attracting and retaining staff in the city.”
ECA is the world’s leading provider of information, software and expertise for the management and assignment of employees around the world. ECA's Salary Trends Reports analyse current and projected salary increases for local employees in 72 countries across the world.
Despite slower economic growth recently, companies are expected to provide staff with an average salary increase of 6 per cent in mainland China next year. Relatively low inflation will mean that mainland China will once again be among the ten countries with the highest real rates of increase in 2018.
“A forecast average rate of increase in China of 6 per cent is higher than the 5.5 per cent awarded on average in 2017,” continued Quane. “This points to improved business sentiment in China, which perhaps shows that employers are more positive for the prospects of both the domestic and global economy in 2018.”
Increases for employees in Macau in 2018 are expected to match those in Hong Kong, with real rates of increase of 1.8 per cent. Lower rates of inflation in Taiwan relative to Hong Kong and Macau mean that salaries will grow by 2.6 per cent in real terms, despite the same nominal increase being forecast.
Asia-Pacific countries continue to outperform the rest of the world, occupying eight of the top ten spots in the global rankings of real salary increases with all locations expecting to receive above-inflation salary increases. India is expected to keep the regional top spot in 2018, with a real rate of increase of 4.9 per cent predicted. India will be joined within the global top ten in terms of real salary increases by fellow sub-continent nations of Pakistan and Bangladesh along with ASEAN nations of Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia as well as China.
Singaporeans are expected to see a real salary increase of 2.7 per cent in 2018, keeping Singapore ahead of Hong Kong once again, ranking 9th out of 20 countries surveyed in the region.
Employees in Japan will receive the lowest rate of increase in nominal terms in 2018, with companies forecasting salaries to increase by 2.2 per cent. However, in real terms, Australians will see the lowest increase in their earnings in 2018, with real wages expected to rise by only 0.8 per cent.