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UK wage growth, unemployment rate beat expectations in January

Annual wage growth in the U.K. came in better than expected in the three months to January, but fell short of that recorded in the three months to December 2018, data from the Office for National Statistics showed.

Average weekly earnings, including bonuses, grew 3.4% year over year in nominal terms in the three months to January, compared with a revised 3.5% increase in the three months to December. The Econoday consensus forecast for average wage growth was 3.2%.

The unemployment rate in the three months to January came in at 3.9%, exceeding the Econoday consensus expectation that it would remain at 4.0%. This was the lowest level since early 1975, according to the ONS.

Meanwhile, the employment rate reached a record high of 76.1%, as the number of people employed rose by 222,000 to 32.71 million in the three months to January.

The economic inactivity rate declined to a record low of 20.7%.