UK jobless falls further toward Bank threshold

LONDON (AP) — Official figures show that unemployment in the U.K. fell by 24,000 people between May and July to 2.49 million, providing further evidence that Europe’s third-largest economy is gaining traction.

The Office for National Statistics also said Wednesday that the country’s unemployment rate declined to 7.7 percent from 7.8 percent, and nearer to the Bank of England’s 7 percent threshold at which it says it will consider its loose monetary policy. Over the past few years, the Bank has kept its main interest rate at the record low of 0.5 percent and pumped billions into the economy to shore up activity following the recession.

The pound spiked higher following the figures as investors priced in the possibility that the Bank of England will start to raise interest rates sooner than anticipated.


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