Labour costs in Germany’s private sector were 30% above the European average in 2014, according to a new report by the country’s National Statistics Office. On average, employers paid €31.80 (R425) an hour, compared with the EU’s average of €24.40 (R326.53), it said. Labour was the most expensive in Denmark, where wages averaged €42 (R562) an hour, while Bulgaria was the cheapest, with employers paying €3.80 (R50.89). The rate at which the eurozone is expected to grow this year, up from an initial estimate of 1.3%, according to the European Commission. The eurozone economy, which consists of the 19 nations that use the euro, is forecast to grow by 1.9% next year, it said. The European Union, which consists of 28 countries, is South Africa’s biggest trading partner and source of foreign direct investment.