British pay growth lagged inflation for the first time in two-and-a-half years in early 2017, underscoring the growing Brexit squeeze facing many households, official data showed on Wednesday.
Excluding bonuses, earnings rose by 2.1 percent year-on-year, the weakest increase since July of last year and below expectations for a 2.2 percent rise in a Reuters poll of economist.
That meant pay, adjusted for inflation, fell by 0.2 percent in the first three months of the year, the first fall since the third quarter of 2014.
Britain's opposition Labour Party has made weak wage growth one of its main themes ahead of a June 8 national election which opinion polls suggest Prime Minister Theresa May is on course to win.
While wage growth is weak, there are other signs of continued strength in the British labor market.