FILE PHOTO – Office workers are seen in the London Place business district near Tower Bridge in central London February 9, 2011. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – British households reported the strongest growth in at least a decade in their earnings from work, a survey showed on Tuesday, suggesting that consumers and their spending can keep on supporting the economy during the Brexit crisis.

IHS Markit, a financial data firm, said growth in earnings from employment this month was the strongest since it began collecting data for its Household Finance Index in 2009, echoing recent official data on wage growth.

That helped push up the overall index — which seeks to anticipate consumer behaviour — to a three-month high of 44.0.

“Households also moderated their concerns over job security, supporting a more relaxed approach to overall spending,” Joe Hayes, an economist at IHS Markit, said.

But appetite for making major purchases, such as cars and holidays, fell sharply again, IHS Markit said.

Official data last week showed a big jump in retail spending in March, helped by the lowest unemployment rate since 1975, rising wages and weak inflation.

By contrast, many companies are cutting back on investment as they wait for clarity on Brexit.

The Markit survey of 1,500 people was conducted between April 11 and 16.

Writing by William Schomberg, editing by James Davey


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