U.K. labor costs per hour -- a gauge of inflationary pressures -- grew an annual 2.7 percent in the first quarter, the least in a year, the Office for National Statistics said on Friday. While they’ve picked up over the last two years, they remain well below the levels seen before the global financial crisis. The figures “are likely to reinforce belief that any interest-rate hike by the Bank of England is some way off,” said Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS in London.
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