Pay settlements in the engineering sector have remained at historically low levels from October to December 2000, according to the latest figures released by the Employers Engineering Federation (EEF).
The average pay settlement for the three months ending December was 2.8 per cent, the same level as the previous three-month average to the end of November.
The levels of pay freezes has remained high during 2000, averaging between 1 in 8 and 1 in 10 of all settlements for most of 2000.
“These figures continue to show that the Bank of England has little to fear from wage inflationary pressures in the manufacturing sector,” commented David Yeandle, deputy director of the EEF.
Meanwhile the CBI and the TUC have called for cuts in interest rates after new figures revealed a levelling off of employment growth and a rise in average earnings.
The CBI said the 4.2 per cent increase in average earnings in the year to November, unchanged from the previous month, showed inflationary pressures remained subdued.
It supported calls by business for an interest rate cut.
"Employment fell slightly and earnings were stable in the autumn. This, together with yesterday's inflation figures, support calls by business for an interest rate cut,” said Kate Barker, the CBI’s chief economist.
By Karen Higginbottom