: Jason Alden/Bloomberg
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The pound has climbed after workers’ pay grew faster than economists had forecast, easing predictions of a cut in interest rates.
Regular wages rose by 6.2pc at the end of last year, according to data from the Office for National Statistics. This was the slowest rate since October 2022 but faster than the 6.0pc economists had expected.
It led the pound to climb to a six-month high against the euro. The pound has risen to €1.1744, a six month high. It is also up against the dollar at $1.2650.
Once falling inflation is taken into account, real earnings in the final quarter of the year were up 1.9pc compared with the same period of 2022. That marks the strongest growth in workers’ spending power since September 2021, before the cost of living struck and hammered the value of pay packets.
Employment in the final three months of the year rose to 33.17m, close to a record high, while unemployment edged down to 1.32m.
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The price of Bitcoin has climbed above $50,000 for the first time since late 2021, continuing a bull run for the cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin climbed as high as $50,358.39 according to the website CoinMarketCap, which monitors crypto prices. It was last above $50,000 in December 2021 before a drop that brought it as low as $15,000.
Prices have jumped in recent weeks as US regulators approve a Bitcoin-based exchange traded fund and as expectations of interest rate cuts raise demand for risky assets.
Shareholders in the package holiday company Tui will later today vote on whether the company should abandon its primary listing in London and shift it to Frankfurt, where the company has a secondary listing.
Alongside its first-quarter results released this morning, the company has spelled out what it sees as the benefits of delisting from the London Stock Exchange.
It says this would make it easier to qualify for EU airline ownership rules, be simpler and more efficient.
Shareholders are due to vote on the move at Tui’s annual meeting, which begins at 10am.
Tui has this morning revealed a 15pc increase in first-quarter revenue to €4.3bn (£3.7bn). Customer numbers jumped by a smaller 6pc to 3.5m, suggesting people are spending more money on holidays.
Here’s Jake Finney, economist at PwC UK, commenting on those labour market figures. He says that it is good news that pay is now growing in real terms but that the higher-than-expected wage growth could mean interest rate cuts are less likely:
“The latest data suggests the UK has achieved its sweet spot, with declining vacancies taking the heat out of the labour market whilst unemployment remains relatively flat. This view is supported by the nominal pay growth data, which continues to soften.
“However, the lingering concern for the Bank of England will be that the labour market has not cooled sufficiently to achieve a sustainable return to the 2pc inflation target. This remains one of the key barriers to the base rate cut in May that markets are currently expecting.
“More positively, workers will welcome that pay is now growing in real terms. With inflation declining at a faster pace than pay growth, workers are likely to see real term pay rises throughout most of 2024.”
The struggling parcel courier Yodel has been rescued by a consortium led by Jacob Corlett, the founder of rival service Shift, Sky News reports.
A new company called YDLGP, supported by Shift executives and the bank Solano Partners, have reportedly agreed to buy Yodel.
The Telegraph revealed last week that Shift had expressed an interest in Yodel, which is owned by the Barclay family.
Sky News reports that the deal is likely to be announced later on Tuesday and save thousands of jobs.
The Barclay currently own The Telegraph after repaying debt to Lloyds Banking Group last year but are barred from exercising any control over the publication as regulators investigate the newspaper being acquired by UAE-backed investors RedBird IMI.
Good morning. Pay growth slowed at the end of last year with regular wages in the last quarter rising by 6.2pc on the yearthe weakest since October 2022.
At the same time the number of job vacancies on offer fell again to 932,000, the Office for National Statistics found, the lowest number since June 2021.
However, there are still signs the jobs market is tight. Unemployment fell to 3.8pc, the lowest number in more than a year.
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