The British pound weakened against the other major currencies in the early European session on Wednesday, after data showed that the U.K. wage growth rose less than expected in December.
Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that U.K. average earnings, both including bonus, rose 2.6 percent year-on-year in the December quarter after 2.8 percent gain in the previous three months. Economists had forecast 2.8 percent increase. Excluding bonus too, wage growth eased to 2.6 percent from 2.7 percent.
The number of unemployed fell by 7,000 in the fourth quarter of 2016 to 1.6 million. The ILO jobless rate for the quarter was 4.8 percent, unchanged from the previous three months, in line with economists’ expectations.
The number of those seeking jobless benefits, known as claimant count, dropped by 42,400 month-on-month to 745,000 persons in January, while economists had forecast an increase of 500 persons. The year-on-year increase in the figure was 2,800 persons.