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UK: bumper jobs data comes amid caveats

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 01:30

Britain's unemployment rate falls in the first three months after the Brexit vote to its lowest level in 11 years - but, as Hayley Platt reports, there are signs a labour market slowdown could be on the way just as inflation fears start to impact consumer confidence.

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On the face of it the numbers look good. UK unemployment edging down to 4.8 percent in the three months to September. That's its lowest in 11 years. But the 49,000 new people joining the workforce is the smallest increase since the three months to March. Amid questions over some of the jobs themselves. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, CCLA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, JAMES BEVAN, SAYING: "If you look at the detail of what these jobs are in the UK economy, a number of them are relatively low paid, a number of them are rather uncertain and could be cancelled at any time and that is not a sound foundation for the economy to move forward." With firms cautious over what Brexit means for them, consumers are still spending. But a new survey shows that worries over inflation among British households have risen to their highest level in nearly two and a half years ... As the post-referendum drop in sterling pushes up import prices. Bank of England governor Mark Carney this week spoke of a worrying gap between market expectations on Brexit - and still buoyant consumer demand. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARK CARNEY, BANK OF ENGLAND GOVERNOR, SAYING: "At some point there will be a resolution of that difference either through revised expectation of financial markets or adjustment in consumer behaviour." Earlier in the month, the Bank of England warned it no longer expected to cut interest rates below a historic low. The Bank now seeing inflation above its target rate of 2 percent by the middle of next year.

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UK: bumper jobs data comes amid caveats

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 01:30