Squeeze on UK households continues as wage growth subdued

LONDON — A day ahead of a keenly awaited Bank of England rate-setting meeting, official figures show that wage growth in Britain remains subdued.

The Office for National Statistics said Wednesday that average pay growth in the British economy was stuck at 2.1 percent in the three months to July from the same period the previous year. Following figures Tuesday showing inflation running at 2.9 percent in the year to August, the wage numbers point to a continued squeeze in household incomes.

That's why most economists think the Bank of England will keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged at the record low of 0.25 percent on Thursday, even though inflation is markedly above its 2 percent target.

The statistics agency also said unemployment fell to 4.3 percent, its lowest level since 1975.

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