South African employers are forecasting 7% pay rises for staff in 2015 – the same as they received in 2014.

This is according to the latest Salary Trends survey by ECA International, which finds that local increases are among the top 20 highest in the survey.

However, once inflation is taken into account salaries will rise only 1,2% on average next year. Nevertheless, with inflation expected to be slightly lower next year wages will increase more in real terms in 2015 than they did this year when they rose just 0,7% above inflation.

ECA’s 2014/2015 Salary Trends Survey reports current and projected salary increases for local employees. This year, it is based on information collected from 340 multinational companies across 66 countries and regions.

According to predictions from around the globe, wages will rise 5,8% on average in 2015, slightly up on this year’s 5,6% average.

Companies in Argentina are forecasting the survey’s highest pay rises in 2015. Employers there are predicting 28% pay rises for staff next year on average. However, once inflation of over 27% has been factored in these large increases will have little impact on spending power.

Argentina will replace Venezuela at the top of the list of countries where wage increases are highest. Soaring inflation in Venezuela means that despite companies there forecasting the second biggest pay rises in 2015, employees will see large salary decreases in real terms.

The lowest increases globally have been forecast by companies in the European locations of Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland, with pay increases of just 2% in 2015 expected. However, wages will rise 3,5% in Europe on average.

Salaries in Asia are expected to increase by 7,2% in 2015 with the largest uplifts being given in Pakistan and the lowest in Japan.

Factoring in inflation, real wage rises in Asia will average 2,7% – higher than the other regions surveyed. In mainland China, companies are planning to award 8 per cent salary increases again next year. Even after inflation, staff in
China will be among the best off within the region and globally: they can expect to see increases of 5,5% in real terms.

Employees in the Middle East are set to see wages rise 4,7% on average. In Australia, companies are forecasting 3,5% pay rises for their staff.