Saturday, 23 September, 2017

Britons see first drop in real wages since 2014

EUR  USD 1.1000 U.K. Inflation and JPY as the Favored Funding Currency Britons see first drop in real wages since 2014
Laurie Berry | 19 May, 2017, 15:07

While the statistics showed employment at a record high, a combination of stagnant wage growth and Tuesday's higher than expected inflation figure suggests United Kingdom households will be hit with a fall in their real income.

THE UK's unemployment rate has fallen to a 42-year low as a record number of people are in work, figures show.

The Brexit squeeze on household income has been laid bare as official figures revealed wages rose at a slower pace than inflation for the first time in two and a half years.

On a month-on-month basis, the Headline index increased by 1.60 per cent in April 2017, 0.12 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in March.

Martin Beck, senior economic adviser to the EY ITEM Club, said that "real regular pay fell for the first time since late 2014".

The Bank of England said last week that rising inflation driven by the market turmoil over Brexit was starting to hurt consumers, and wages were failing to keep up. This is on top of rising clothing, auto tax, and electricity prices that affected overall consumer prices.

The number of non-UK nationals working in the United Kingdom increased by 207,000 to a record 3.55 million, meaning 11.1% of all people working in the United Kingdom are non-UK nationals.

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Scotland recorded an unemployment rate of 4.4% in the first three months of this year - lower than the rest of the United Kingdom as whole - with the statistics showing employment in the country increased by 5,000.

Among 16 to 24 year olds, the unemployment rate was down from 13.7 per cent of March 2016, to 12.5 per cent. London's FTSE 100 inched up 0.02%, the benchmark Euro Stoxx 50 lost 0.30%, France's CAC 40 fell 0.39%, while Germany's DAX traded down 0.21%.

"Our central expectation is that we do expect wages to pick up and real income growth to turn positive over the course of the next few years and that is during the period of leaving the European Union", said Bank of England Governor Mark Carney.

Figures released on Tuesday showed inflation hit 2.7 per cent in April, its highest since September 2013.

"The big question for every party is - what's your plan to get Britain's wages rising again?" The key measure of wage growth, which excludes bonuses, came in at 2.1 per cent.

A forecast earlier this week from the EY ITEM Club - which uses Treasury economic models - predicted that unemployment would rise to more than 5% next year as the UK's growth slowdown begins to bite.

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