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UK April pay data beats forecasts, employment growth slows

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on June 11, 2019 - Duration: 01:26s

UK April pay data beats forecasts, employment growth slows

British wages in the three months to April grew faster than expected and hiring slowed less sharply, as the jobless rate held at its lowest rate since 1975, official figures showed on Tuesday.

Francis Maguire reports.

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UK April pay data beats forecasts, employment growth slows

Mixed readings on Britain's economy this week, Official data Tuesday shows wages in the first three months of the year grew faster than expected, While the jobless rate held at its lowest rate since 1975.

Excluding bonuses, pay growth picked up to 3.4% in the three months up to April.

That beat forecasts and was boosted by a 3.8% annual jump in pay for April alone - the largest single-month rise since May 2008.

The UK's labour market has been a bright spot in the economy since Britain voted to leave the EU in June 2016.

But other parts have suffered from Brexit uncertainty.

Monday's official figures showed the economy shrank 0.4% in April - its biggest monthly drop since 2016.

That was driven by a slump in car production as firms stuck to plans to close plants when Britain was originally due to leave the EU in March.

The unemployment rate remained at 3.8% as expected - its joint lowest since the three months to January 1975.

But the Bank of England sees this as firms taking on workers, rather than committing to long-term investments.

Despite that, the Bank of England took on a hawkish tone this weekend, Policymaker Michael Saunders said they will probably need to raise interest rates sooner than financial markets expect.

And the Bank's Chief Economist Andy Haldane said the UK will see steady growth in 2019.

And argued a small rate rise might be 'prudent' to stop inflationary risks.

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