British employers expect to raise pay only minimally over the next 12 months despite hiring more staff, a survey showed, suggesting the Bank of England is unlikely to come under much pressure to raise interest rates from their record low. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said employers predicted their pay increases would average one per cent despite more of them expecting to increase staff levels than in its previous survey three months ago.
While private-sector employers expect to raise pay by an average two per cent, the median pay rise was dragged down by public-sector employers and charities which plan to offer pay rises of one per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively.
Pay increases of one per cent would lag further behind inflation which is likely to rise to around three per cent later on this year, tightening the squeeze on household budgets.
The CIPD said the weak outlook for pay was partly due to increases in migration from the European Union and the number of people looking for work over the past year. Respondents also cited uncertainty over Brexit, a higher minimum wage and costs related to the introduction of automatic pension enrolment as weighing on their pay decisions. The CIPD also said employers became more pessimistic over the past six months as the economy slowed.
Matthew Rideout, ICAEW’s director of business, said this was due to the uncertainty around Brexit and the outcome of June’s national election when Prime Minister Theresa May lost her parliamentary majority. “Businesses cannot see through this haze of uncertainty and are struggling to look further than the end of the next quarter in terms of their decision making,” he said.