Singapore markets closed

UK labour cost growth slows to two-year low in late 2019

FILE PHOTO: Employees work on sewing machines at the Fashion Enter factory in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Growth in British labour costs slowed to its weakest in just over two years in late 2019, pointing to low underlying inflation pressures, though productivity remained weak, according to figures which predate the effect of COVID-19.

The Office for National Statistics said annual growth in unit labour costs - how much it costs employers for one worker to produce a fixed amount of output - slowed to 2.4% in the fourth quarter of 2019 from 3.2% in the third quarter.

Annual growth in output per hour - normally a key driver of long-term living standards - remained weak at 0.3% in the fourth quarter, unchanged from its growth rate in the three months to September.

(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Catherine Evans)