UK pay rates pick up strongly and should shore up growth

Official figures show that pay levels in the U.K. picked up strongly during the summer, a development that should shore up the economy amid the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

The Office for National Statistics said Tuesday that average earnings excluding bonuses over the three months through July were up 2.9 percent from the same period the year before. In the three months to June, regular pay rates were up 2.7 percent.

The increase means households are better off in real terms as consumer prices are growing more slowly. In July, the annual rate of inflation stood at 2.5 percent.

The improvement in living standards is a potential boon to growth at a time when there's much uncertainty surrounding Britain's exit from the EU next March.

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