Mixed UK jobs data

Data released by the Office for National Statistics showed the UK unemployment rate for the three months to July had fallen to 4.3 per cent, its lowest level in 40 years, indicating an increasingly strong labour market. In contrast, wage growth disappointed with average weekly earnings excluding bonuses growing at 2.1 per cent over a three-month period, well below the 2.9 per cent inflation rate last month. This shows that the value of people's earnings has in fact fallen, despite the figure being higher than the same period in 2016 and up from 2 per cent in the three months to May. The mixed data could further divide the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee on when to raise interest rates, as stagnant wage growth suggests a pullback in inflation may occur, however low unemployment indicates a strong economy which could drive inflation higher. Sterling reacted negatively to the news, easing off recent highs, while UK debt markets benefited from rising prices as yields fell.