Settlements show little movement
This month's figures from the LRD Payline database show very little variation on the previous month, with settlements steady at 3.5% for the three months to February.
Public sector pay deals continue to outperform those in the public sector, seeing a median increase of 3.5% compare with 3.0%.
Figures from other pay analysts show complete agreement between Incomes Data Services and Industrial Relations Services - both have a median for settlements of 3.3%, the only difference being that the IDS figure covers the three months to January and IRS's relates to the three months to February.
The increase in the average earnings index dipped slightly to 4.2% for the year to January, having been 4.3% the previous month. However, the "headline rate", comparing earnings growth over the past three months with the same period a year earlier, rose from 4.3% to 4.4%.
After reaching 3.7% in December, average earnings in the manufacturing sector grew by just 3.2% in the 12 months to January. Average earnings are forecast to increase during 2005 by 4.5%.
The retail prices index (RPI) figures for February are not yet available, but the latest forecasts are that the all-items RPI will rise by 2.6% in the fourth quarter of 2005. This average is drawn from a range of forecasts, with the lowest being 1.7% and the highest 3.6%.