19/03/2018 - UK Incomes Rise At Fastest Pace Since 2009


Britons' incomes are rising at near their fastest rate since the depths of the financial crisis in 2009, increasing the chance the Bank of England will soon raise interest rates again, a survey of households showed on Monday.

IHS Markit said an upcoming increase in the minimum wage was the most likely reason why households reported that their income from work grew at the fastest rate since July 2016, when income growth hit its highest since the survey began in January 2009. "While higher salary payments will help offset sharply rising living costs faced by consumers, it also adds to the likelihood of additional interest rate rises in 2018," according to economists.

The BoE is unlikely to raise interest rates on Thursday following this week's meeting, but will probably do so after it next meets in May, according to a poll of economists.

However, much depends on whether Prime Minister Theresa May can agree a Brexit transition deal when she meets European Union leaders in Brussels next week, just over a year before Britain is due to leave the EU.

Last month the BoE said rates would probably need to rise sooner and by somewhat more than it had previously thought, after increasing them for the first time in more than a decade in November.


Worries about the potential for a U.S.-China trade war and frustration over U.S. President Donald Trump's steel and aluminium tariffs threatened to dominate a gathering of finance leaders this week amid strengthening growth.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who arrived on Sunday in Buenos Aires ahead of a two-day meeting of the Group of 20 finance ministers, will be in a position of defending Trump's trade plans against widespread criticism from G20 partners.

At the same time, he is likely to hear pleas for exemptions from the steel and aluminium tariffs, said Edwin Truman, a former Treasury and Federal Reserve international policy official now with the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.

The U.S. import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium, set to become effective on March 23, have raised alarms among trading partners that Trump is following through on his threats to dismantle the decades-old trading system based around World Trade Organization rules in favour of unilateral U.S. actions.

Potential broader anti-China tariffs and investment restrictions under consideration as part of a U.S. intellectual property probe have raised concerns that retaliation could seriously diminish global trade and choke off the strongest global growth since the G20 was formed during the 2008 financial crisis.

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