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Australian Wages Increase at Slowest Pace in Almost Two Years

Australian wages rose last quarter at the slowest pace in almost two years, increasing the central bank’s scope to lower interest rates again as Europe’s debt crisis dims prospects for global growth.

The wage-price index, which measures hourly pay rates excluding bonuses, advanced 0.7 percent from the previous three months, when it gained 0.9 percent, the statistics bureau said today in Sydney. That was lower than all 16 forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of economists that ranged from 0.8 percent to 1.1 percent.