BCN-13UK unemployment rate holds at 4.2%




UK unemployment rate holds at 4.2%

LONDON, July 17, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Britain’s unemployment rate held in May at
the lowest level since 1975, official data showed on Tuesday.

The jobless rate stood at 4.2 percent in the three months to the end of
May, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.

That was unchanged from the level for the three months through to the end
of April.

It’s a busy week for British economic data, with analysts looking closely
for clues about the outlook for UK interest rates.

“Markets are still expecting the Bank of England to raise interest rates in
August,” Ben Brettell, senior economist at stockbroker Hargreaves Lansdown,
said following Tuesday’s jobless figures.

“But given the increasingly uncertain climate I think there’s a real chance
policymakers will sit on their hands and wait for firmer signals the economy
is on the right track before risking raising borrowing costs.”

The Bank of England is seen as likely to hike in August its main lending
rate by a quarter-point to 0.75 percent, despite an uncertain UK economic
outlook owing to Brexit and trade war fears.

“The case for raising interest rates in August may have strengthened, but
is hardly compelling,” Deloitte chief economist Ian Stewart said following
Tuesday’s data.

“Growth has edged up after a lacklustre start to the year. However, low
unemployment is yet to generate serious wage pressures and Brexit
uncertainties continue to reign,” he added.