There is yet another reminder of the cost of living crisis this morning, with the latest figures from the ONS showing that wage growth is well behind the surge in inflation.
While average non-bonus earnings rose 4.1% in February from a year ago, when adjusted for prices they fell 1.3% – the biggest drop since 2013.
There were also signs that the labor market recovery might be running out of steam. While unemployment fell to 3.8% in the quarter ending February and job vacancies remained at a record high, payrolls only rose by 35,000 in March, well below expectations .
The figures highlight the cost of living crisis that is expected to hit demand and growth for the rest of the year. In addition to rising prices and lagging wages, households are also grappling with the recent energy bill and tax hikes.
5 things to start your day
1) How Britain is fighting to become a lithium powerhouse Inside the race to extract and refine the UK’s vital car battery ingredient
2) War in Ukraine triggers surge in food stocks Customers rush to buy tinned tomatoes, tea and pasta as threat of conflict looms
3) Heathrow faces pressure to reduce landing fee hike Some 4.2 million passengers used London Central Airport in March, the highest level since the start of the pandemic
4) Brussels backs £6.3bn foreign takeover of defense giant Meggitt Parts maker Typhoon’s sale draws closer after backing from EU regulator
5) M&S drastically cuts the price of basic necessities amid a cost of living crisis Marks & Spencer will lower prices of everyday basics including milk and bread
What happened overnight
Asian markets fell today as Japanese and Hong Kong stocks fell. The Nikkei 225 is at -1.36%, while the Hang Seng is down 0.64%.
- Business : Asos, easy Jet (temporary)Liontrust Asset Management, Moneysupermarket.com, Pennon Group (commercial statement)
- Economy: BRC retail sales (UK)unemployment rate (UK)change in the number of applicants (UK)average salary (UK)consumer price index (USA, Germany)ECB bank lending survey (EU), monthly budget statement (WE)