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'Subdued' pay deals match inflation

Pay deals remain "subdued" but are matching RPI inflation at a median of 2.5%, according to a new study.

Wage analysts XpertHR said fewer than one in 10 deals in the quarter to March involved a pay freeze, while increases in private firms were worth 2.5%, compared with 1% in the public sector.

The report predicted that pay rises will not match RPI inflation in 2014, a record five years of wages falling in real terms.

Sheila Attwood, of XpertHR, said: "We are yet to see a return to real-terms wages growth. Pay settlement levels remain subdued and an early indication of pay awards concluding in April shows that this level of awards is likely to persist. Over 2014 as a whole pay settlements are likely to fall below RPI inflation."

Official figures last week showed average earnings rising slightly higher than CPI inflation - which is lower than the RPI rate - although that included bonuses.

RPI inflation is the most commonly used measure of the cost of living for pay-setting purposes.

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