Plenty of employment market data due from the UK today, at 0930 GMT
Just some quickies, bolding mine
- We expect unemployment numbers to remain largely unchanged and the u-rate to move sideways at 4.3% for the 6th consecutive month.
- Wages are also expected to print largely in line with previous, with total pay increasing 2.5% 3m/y and core AWE increasing 2.3% 3m/y.
- The January labour market report revealed a generally upbeat set of numbers. Private sector regular pay growth rose to between 3% and 4% (based on 3m, 4m, 5m and 6m average annualised rates), while employment rose by around 100k over the latest published rolling quarter.
- We expect strong jobs growth to continue (+150k q-o-q) and wage growth to pick up (regular pay 2.6% y-o-y up from 2.3%) as the economy expands at or modestly above what is believed to be its trend rate.
- The December average earnings numbers are likely to be left somewhat in the shadow of confirmation from the BoE regional agents' survey on pay, showing settlements averaging an increased 3.1% rate for 2018.
- The next few months of actual outturns will be crucial therefore, to see if this survey evidence actually materialises. If it does, it could be enough to bring the more dovish members of the MPC into line, supporting further gradual increases in Bank Rate.
- Another solid gain in the level of employment looks likely after last month's surprise +106k 3m/3m change but the unemployment rate is expected to hold at 4.3%. The growth rate of the average earnings measure, ex-bonuses, is expected to hold at 2.4% 3m/y.
- We're on top of consensus for both the u-rate and wage growth, but think that underlying wage details could be more upbeat, supporting our call for a BoE hike in May.
- We look for the BoE's preferred measure, private sector regular pay, to edge a tenth higher to 2.6% y/y. And we note that the 9 straight months of m/m ex-bonus wage growth is the longest such string since pre-GFC.