Most notable was the average wage index growth, which exceeded expectations at 2.8% for the 3 months to the end of November. That’s the best number since the end of 2015, and good news for those feeling their wallets pinched by the UK’s rapidly increasing inflation. The claimant count change reading was similarly strong – at -10.1k the amount of people claiming unemployment benefits fell by the fastest pace for 10 months in December – while the unemployment rate itself remained steady at 4.8%. Yet all this had little impact on the market. The pound continued to fall by 0.7% against the dollar and 0.4% against the euro, with the FTSE flat at 7230 despite sterling’s regression.
Over in the Eurozone things were just as unexciting. The region’s most recent inflation figure was confirmed at a 3 year high of 1.1%, something that failed to cause any fresh movement from either the DAX or the euro.
Looking ahead to the US open and, with the Dow Jones failing to muster any energy in pre-market trading, this afternoon could be a bit of a slog. There are, however, a few US figures to tide investors over, the most important being December’s inflation data. Analysts are expecting a slight increase from 0.2% to 0.3% month-on-month, something that could help extend the dollar’s current gains. Beyond the CPI reading, US industrial production is set to jump from -0.4% to 0.8% alongside a 0.6% for the capacity utilization rate to 75.6%.