German real wages increased by 1.8% in the third quarter compared with the same time in 2013.

This was their biggest rise in more than three years and a potential support for private consumption on which the government is banking to boost growth. 

Data from the Federal Statistics Office today showed that a full-time worker in Germany earned an average of €3,541 a month before tax, excluding special payments, in the three months from July to September. 

Employees in the banking, insurance, information, communication and energy supply sectors pocketed the biggest salaries on average. 

Nominal wages increased by 2.6% in the third quarter compared with the same time last year - more sharply than consumer prices, which were up by 0.8% in the same period.  

The low inflation rate, which was much weaker than the average of the last 20 quarters, was the main reason for the increase in real wages, the office said. 

Private consumption is expected to be a key driver of German growth this year as exports, which have traditionally propelled Europe's largest economy, are forecast to be weak.  

Higher wages in Germany could also help struggling euro zone states by taking the shine off Germany's competitive advantage over other members of the single currency bloc.