Rousseff says Brazil raises 2014 minimum wage by 6.78 pct

BRASILIA Mon Dec 23, 2013 5:40pm EST

BRASILIA Dec 23 (Reuters) - The Brazilian government will raise the minimum wage by 6.78 percent to 724 reais ($310) per month in 2014, President Dilma Rousseff said on her Twitter feed on Monday.

Rousseff said she signed the decree to increase the minimum wage. The increase is less than the hikes of 9 percent in 2013 and 14 percent in 2012.

The minimum wage adjustments of recent years have been heavily criticized by many economists who believe the hikes have outpaced the levels of productivity and fueled inflation.

Higher minimum wages also add pressure to Brazil's fiscal accounts since the government increases public pensions in tandem with the wage increases.

The minimum wage is readjusted by a formula that sets the final number using the prior-year inflation plus the level of GDP growth from the last two years.

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