UK unemployment falls unexpectedly with biggest claimant count drop since February 2009

Job data improvement in the UK -The headline unemployment rate has fallen from 7.8 per cent to 7.7 per cent in the three months to July, despite analysts anticipating no change.

The claimant count rate drops from 4.3 per cent to 4.2 per cent in July. Again, no change was expected here.

That change driven by the claimant count drop, down by 32,600, from a 36,300 fall last month (revised from 29,200). Economists had forecast a drop of a mere 22,000.

Sterling is loving the news, and has now jumped to clear $1.58:

Grant Lewis, Daiwa Capital Markets:

The Bank of England has said that it will not raise Bank Rate until at least it falls to 7% (subject to three caveats).

The one-month reading will be of interest having in June declined to just 7.4%.

Kit Juckes, Societe Generale:

I think GBP will benefit from the strong data, and the Gilt curve will see continued debate about how long the MPC can keep rates down as unemployment falls, irrespective of Mr carney's forward guidance.

Average earnings excluding bonuses rose by just one per cent versus the same three months to July last year. Slower than the 1.1 per cent growth we saw last month.

Similar story with the numbers including bonuses, which were only up 1.1 per cent, versus 2.2 per cent prior (revised from 2.1 per cent). Real wage growth continues to disappoint.