British workers' wages rose more slowly in the three months to April despite another surge in job creation, leaving the Bank of England still waiting for clear signs that the economy is ready for higher interest rates.

In a second reading in a row to show a loss of momentum in pay, total earnings, including bonuses, rose by an annual 2.5%, the Office for National Statistics said, down from growth of 2.6% in the three months to March.

The market had forecast growth of 2.6%, matching the pace of the three months to March.

Excluding bonuses, growth in earnings fell for the first time in more than a year, rising by 2.8% year-on-year against expectations for growth to hold at 2.9%.

But the number of people in work rose by a larger than forecast 146k.

The BoE expects wages to pick up speed gradually over the next three years, a big reason why it says it is likely to raise borrowing costs gradually over the period.

But last month it said it wanted to be sure the economy had recovered from its near-stagnation in an unusually icy early 2018, before pushing ahead with only its second rate hike since before the global financial crisis.

The unemployment rate held at 4.2% in the three months to April, its lowest since 1975, as expected.

Households - whose spending is the main driver of Britain's economy - struggled last year from the double whammy of slow wage growth and a jump in inflation, due in large part to the fall in the value of the pound after the 2016 Brexit vote.

With unemployment so low, employers have generally been raising pay for staff more quickly, albeit still more slowly than increases of about 4% a year that were typical before the global financial crisis.

Data due on Wednesday is expected to show British consumer price inflation edged back up to 2.5% in May, but remains well below a five-year peak of 3.1% set in November.

The BoE said in May that it expected pay growth of 2.75% a year by the end of 2018, rising to 3.5% by the end of 2020. is an independent macroeconomic consultancy with thousands of subscribers all over the world. We provide fundamental research to help our clients make better investing decisions. Our subscribers should expect to get access to:

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