Average earnings in the UK, excluding bonuses, increased by 2.9% in the three months to July to ease the burden that many UK households have been feeling of late. Including bonuses, wages grew by 2.6%, up from 2.4% in the previous period. The releases were better than expected and show that wages are outpacing inflation at the moment.
We also saw that the unemployment rate held at 4% in July, which was in line with expectations, as the number of unemployed decreased by 55,000 from the previous period. Sterling began the day by climbing higher following comments made by Michel Barnier, but the move was short-lived and the gains were soon wiped out.
There was plenty of Brexit controversy yesterday, with Brexiteers making some bold claims about a no-deal Brexit. Rees-Mogg said there is nothing to fear, while the pro-Brexit economist Patrick Minford made the extraordinary claim that it could boost Treasury revenues by £80 million a year. Under every scenario outlined by the government, the UK would lose out financially – at least for the first few years – and quite how he got to this figure remains unclear.