British unemployment steady at 5.5%

17th June 2015, Comments 0 comments

Britain's unemployment rate remains at a seven-year low of 5.5 percent and wages have risen by their fastest rate in four years, official data showed Wednesday.

But with inflation at close to zero, the Bank of England appears to be in no rush to hike interest rates from record-low levels, minutes of the last meeting showed separately.

The unemployment rate for the three months to the end of April was unchanged compared with the quarter to the end of March, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.

The number of unemployed fell by 43,000 in the three months to April, the ONS added.

Total pay climbed by 2.7 percent in the three months to April -- the fastest pace since August 2011.

Separately, minutes from the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee meeting earlier this month showed all nine members voted to keep the BoE's main interest rate at 0.50 percent.

It stressed that interest rate developments "would depend on UK inflation prospects and would not be determined by the actions of other central banks" amid expectations of a US rate rise before the end of the year.

Britain's annual inflation rate rebounded in May after briefly entering negative territory the previous month, official data showed Tuesday

The Consumer Prices Index rose by 0.1 percent in the year to May 2015, compared with a 0.1 percent fall in the year to April.

© 2015 AFP

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