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UK companies see cooler wage growth and inflation: BoE survey

People walk outside the Bank of England in the City of London financial district in London

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - British companies' predictions for wage growth in the coming 12 months cooled in April to their lowest level for seven months, and their expectations for inflation also eased, a Bank of England survey showed on Thursday.

The BoE's monthly Decision Maker Panel showed companies expected wage growth in the coming year of 5.6% over the three months to April - the lowest reading since the three months to September.

The single-month reading for April of 5.4% was the lowest since July.

A separate survey from human resources data company XpertHR last week showed the median pay deal at British companies was 6% in the first quarter of 2023.

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BoE officials are watching gauges of wage growth closely as they judge how far to raise interest rates to prevent persistent price pressures taking hold in the economy, with annual consumer price inflation still in double-digits.

Financial markets show a roughly 89% chance that the BoE will raise interest rates to 4.5% from 4.25% next week

Thursday's survey showed companies expected inflation in a year's time to fall to 5.6%, the lowest reading since the series started in May last year, from the latest reading of 10.1% in March.

Expectations for companies' own selling prices in the year were steady at 5.5% over the three months to April.

The single-month reading for April jumped to 5.9% from 5.3% in March, its highest since October.

(Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by Sarah Young)