February 5, 2016 / 7:42 AM / 2 years ago

UK starting salaries rise in January at slowest pace since 2013

LONDON (Reuters) - British starting salaries for new permanent and temporary jobs rose last month at the slowest pace since October 2013, according to a survey on Friday which will do little to quell the Bank of England’s unease about a slowdown in wage growth.

On Thursday the BoE cut its forecast for British wage growth, a key determinant of future interest rates identified by its governor Mark Carney in a speech last month.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation said it took a positive view of the labour market, although it warned that Britain’s referendum on European Union membership - likely in June - could create uncertainty for employers.

Wage growth in Britain slowed in the three months to November even though unemployment fell to its lowest level since early 2006, according to official data last month.

Friday’s survey showed staff were placed in permanent jobs at a slightly faster rate in January compared with December. However, it pointed to ongoing skill shortages in construction and manufacturing.

The REC also warned that the government risked exacerbating a shortage of nurses by cutting pay for temporary nursing staff.

“We believe that patient safety may be compromised,” Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC, said.

A separate survey from credit card company Barclaycard, part of Barclays bank, showed consumer spending rose 3.8 percent year-on-year in January compared with a 4.0 percent rise in January.

It also said around 30 percent of Britons now expect the economy to deteriorate in the next three months, up from 18 percent in December.

Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken

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