Wages for Australian workers rose modestly in the quarter ending September, according to data released on Wednesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The ABS reported that total hourly rates of payment, excluding bonuses, rose 0.5 percent in the quarter. The wage price index (WPI) increased by 2.7 percent over the year in the three-month period, the smallest rise since the March quarter of 2000. The figures showed the Australian labor market was weak in the past quarter. "Wage growth has slowed substantially, it is consistent with the idea that the labor market is loose and there is very little inflationary pressure in the domestic economy," global banking giant HSBC chief economist Paul Bloxham said.