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Britain's jobless rate dips putting the spotlight on Bank of England reaction


economy

Britain's jobless rate dips putting the spotlight on Bank of England reaction

Britain’s unemployment rate dropped in the three months to the end of July.

It went from 7.8 percent to 7.7 percent of the workforce. That is the lowest level since last autumn.

There was also another sign of strength in Britain’s labour market. The number of people claiming jobless benefit fell by 32,600 in August, much more than economists had expected.

The jobs numbers are adding to speculation that the Bank of England may put up interest rates earlier than previously expected.

It has tied a rate rise to unemployment falling to 7.0 percent. At the time they said that the bank’s policymakers suggested it would not be before the third quarter of 2016, but the financial markets are betting it will be sooner.

As a result they have been pricing in the first rise in interest rates as soon as late 2014.

That has led to rises in a range of market interest rates, including those that usually feed through to mortgages and other loans.

The Bank is not happy about that is it fears those higher market rates could slow Britain’s economic recovery.

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