City workers
Sunlight shines between two buildings as people walk through the financial district of London, Britain. Aug 24, 2018. Reuters/Simon Dawson

Official figures show that pay levels in the U.K. picked up strongly during the summer, a development that should shore up the economy amid the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

The Office for National Statistics said Tuesday that average earnings excluding bonuses over the three months through July were up 2.9 percent from the same period the year before. In the three months to June, regular pay rates were up 2.7 percent.

The increase means households are better off in real terms as consumer prices are growing more slowly. In July, the annual rate of inflation stood at 2.5 percent.

The improvement in living standards is a potential boon to growth at a time when there's much uncertainty surrounding Britain's exit from the EU next March.

Job vacancies reached 833,000 in the three months to August, the highest number since records began in 2001.

The unemployment rate stayed at 4%, as expected.

Alok Sharma, the employment minister, heralded the positive figures: "With unemployment rate still at its lowest level in 43 years, it is good to see that for the sixth month in a row wages have grown faster than inflation helping to put more money in people's pockets. In the last quarter regular pay is up by 2.9%, 0.5% above inflation."

Households across the country are benefiting from the security of being in work, and with increasing wages and GDP growth of 0.6% last quarter we are delivering an economy that supports working people."