|Pay and prices|
Retail price inflation down to 2.5%
In January, the Retail Prices Index (RPI) stood at 283 (January 1987=100) and the annual rate of inflation was cut to 2.5% from 2.7% the previous month.
Under the Consumer Prices Index Housing (CPIH), the annual rate of inflation in January was down to 1.8% from 2.1% the previous month.
Meanwhile, the annual rate of inflation under Consumer Prices Index (CPI) was down to 1.8% from 2.1%. This is the rate used by the Bank of England as its inflation target. As itís below the 2.0% target, the Bank is less likely now to consider any rise in interest rates in the near future.
Figures for February 2019 are due to be published on 20 March 2019.
Latest pay deals
2.8% pay increase in the three months to January 2019
The median increase in pay in the three months to January 2018 was 2.8%. The median increase in the lowest pay rate was also 2.8%
Figures for March 2019 are due to be published on 20 March 2019.
Pay deals are calculated from Payline database of over 2,000 pay and conditions settlements.
Earnings growth down
In the year to December 2018, average weekly earnings for the whole economy, excluding bonuses, provisionally increased by 3.2% - down from revised increase of 3.5% for November.
Growth in the December headline rate (the latest three-month average) for regular pay, excluding bonuses, was 3.4% - the same as for November, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Headline average earnings growth in manufacturing was down to 1.9% from 2.1%, while for services it was steady at 3.5%.
In the private sector as a whole, growth was unchanged at 3.5%.
In the public sector, excluding financial services, growth was steady at 2.9%.
Figures for January 2019 are due to be released on 19 March 2019.
Unemployment back on its downward path in the three months to December
After three months of rises, the latest unemployment figures show a fall.
In the three-month period ending December 2018, UK unemployment under the Labour Force Survey count fell by 14,000 to 1,363,000 from 1,377,000 for the previous three-months ending September 2018.
The fall in numbers was enough to cut the unemployment rate to 4.0% from its previous rate of 4.1%.
The Office for National Statistic's claimant count total includes people out of work and claiming Jobseeker's Allowance or Universal Credit.
Under this experimental statistic, the claimant count increased by 14,200 to 1,010,700 in January 2019 from the revised figure for December 2018 of 996,500.
The joblessness rate remained steady at 2.8%.
Figures for January 2019 (unemployment) and February 2019 (claimant count) are due out on 19 March 2019.