Pay awards at British employers highest in 2 years: Survey

2.5 per cent bumps strongest since December 2015

Pay awards at British employers highest in 2 years: Survey
Window cleaners are seen working on the outside of a building in the City of London financial district in London, Jan. 25. REUTERS/Toby Melville


LONDON (Reuters) — Pay awards by British employers are rising by the most in more than two years, according to a survey on Wednesday that suggests the Bank of England's expectations of higher pay are on track.

Median pay awards rose by an annual 2.5 per cent over the three months to January, the strongest growth since the three months to December 2015, research company Incomes Data Research (IDR) said.

"Our latest figures suggest that the pay growth we saw in the private sector in the three months to October 2017 has continued into 2018," said Ken Mulkearn, editor of IDR Pay Climate.

Last month BoE Chief Economist Andy Haldane said he expected to see the official measure of wage growth pick up from January onwards, likely hitting three per cent for the first quarter of 2018.

A BoE survey last month also showed that businesses expected to raise pay by an average of 3.1 per cent this year — the highest since 2008 — compared with 2.6 per cent in 2017's survey.

The forecast increases in pay growth are a major reason why the BoE said in February that it expected interest rates to rise faster and to a greater extent than they thought a few months previously.

IDR's survey covered 50 pay settlements from businesses employing almost 330,000 workers. It did not include the public sector — where pay rises tend to be lower — as these public pay reviews tend to take place in April.


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