United Kingdom unemployment rate sinks to 42-year low of 4


"Air fares were the main contributors to the increase in the rate in April 2017, although this balanced out a downward effect of similar magnitude in March 2017 and is due to Easter falling later than previous year", the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.

According to NBS, inflation drop to 17.24 percent (year-on-year) through slower pace in April, 0.02 percent point lower from the rate recorded in March (17.26) percent.

Despite the lowest unemployment rate in more than four decades, real wages in the United Kingdom fell at their fastest rate in the first quarter of the year since 2014.

Nominal wage growth also remains well below its pre-financial crisis rates, and last week the Bank of England suggested that employers may be holding off from increasing wages due to uncertainty about Brexit.

The Retail Price Index (RPI), a separate measure of inflation which includes council tax and mortgage interest payments, reached 3.5% last month, up from 3.1% in March.

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Airline prices rise sharply around the Easter break, which fell on 16 April this year rather than 27 March in 2016.

Other indicators of future wage growth, like the monthly REC survey and the Bank of England's regional agents' report, have pointed to a dearth of upward pressure on pay.

Inflation rose to its highest level in two-and-a-half years as the rising cost of gasoline, healthcare and education took a toll on consumers.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected the rate to remain at 4.7%. But the combination of sterling's fall and higher oil prices are pushing up inflation across the board for consumers and businesses.

The price of clothes also climbed to its highest level for six years, stepping up by 1.1% between March and April, while food prices lifted by 0.2% month-on-month after coming in flat last year.

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The head of Britain's biggest trade union group said Tuesday's inflation data meant living standards should be front and centre of the election campaign.

Fuel and lighting inflation rose to 6.13 per cent compared to 5.5 per cent in March.

The cost of living has surged as the Brexit-hit pound has pushed up the price of food, clothing and energy.

Average weekly earnings excluding bonuses fell 0.2% in real terms compared with a year earlier, though was up 0.1% if bonuses are included.

In the months ahead, he expects inflation to hover around 4 percent or slightly higher amid volatile fuel prices.

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