June 20, 2018 / 11:18 PM / a year ago

Pay rises in major UK companies hold at 2.5 percent - XpertHR

A construction worker walks past a poster in London, Britain, December 13, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

LONDON (Reuters) - Pay rises agreed by major British employers held at 2.5 percent in recent months, industry data showed on Thursday, adding to a picture of modestly increased wage pressure in Britain.

XpertHR, a company that monitors wage deals, said the median pay deal offered by employers in the three months to May was 2.5 percent, matching the typical increase offered since the start of 2018 and up from levels around 2.0 percent in previous years.

Pay awards of 2.5 percent were starting to look like a “new norm”, XpertHR said.

The Bank of England is keeping a close eye on wage growth, which has been slowly improving this year, as it looks to see whether the economy is strong enough to sustain an interest rate increase later in 2018.

It is due to announce its June interest rate decision at 1100 GMT. All economists polled by Reuters think rates will stay on hold at 0.5 percent.

Official data last week showed a loss of momentum in overall pay for a second month in a row as wages barely kept up with inflation during the three months to April.

Reporting by Anu Shukla, editing by Andy Bruce

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