Jueves, 17 Agosto, 2017

United Kingdom jobless rate reaches 42-year low

A reading on a domestic household electricity meter The overall price of electricity rose by 2.5% month-on-month
Eleena Tovar | 19 May, 2017, 19:55

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have shown that unemployment in the United Kingdom has fallen to its lowest rate in 42 years whilst the number of people in work has hit an all-time high.

The department said that between January and April, the CPI rose 4.3% from a year earlier and in monthly terms, April CPI, however, fell 0.3% from March.

Average earnings increased by 2.4 per cent in the year to March, just 0.1 per cent up on the previous month and below the latest CPI inflation rate of 2.7 per cent.

He said: "Consumer spending has already slowed, as evidenced by weak retail sales growth in the first quarter of this year, and is expected to suffer further from low wage growth and higher inflation".

The key measure of wage growth, which excludes bonuses, came in at 2.1 per cent.

Clothing and electricity prices also rose at a faster rate during April while changes to certain vehicle taxes also helped to push up the rate of inflation.

The Bank of England forecasts inflation to reach 2.8% later this year, though a number of economists expect it to climb above 3%.

Data on Tuesday recently showed that consumer prices in the United Kingdom have been rising at its fastest rate in the past three years as more and more Britons continued to face tight living standards in the eve of the country's separation from the European Union and the looming general elections.

Separately, Wednesday's ONS data provided some relief for employers who have said they are anxious that migrant workers are being discouraged from coming to Britain because of the fall in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote and uncertainty about their future status in the country.

Inflation growth was mainly driven by the rise in air fares in April due to the late timing of Easter this year.

In a report titled, "National Household Kerosene Price Watch", the NBS stated that the average price per litre paid by consumers for kerosene increased by 25.77 per cent year-on-year to N280.80 in April 2017 from N311.56 in March 2017.

However, the claimant count increased by a seasonally adjusted 19,400 in April, compared to expectations for a gain of 7,500 people and following a rise of 33,500 a month earlier, whose figure was revised from a previously reported reduction of 25,500.

"We remain convinced that the market is underestimating the further upside for inflation from here", Scotiabank analyst Alan Clarke said. The upward contributions were partially offset by a fall in fuel prices.

The fall in unemployment takes the jobless rate closer to the 4.5% that the BOE estimates is the level that can be sustained without generating inflation.