PAY rates for manufacturing sector workers remained stable during the first quarter of the year, a survey has revealed.

Figures from the EEF manufacturers’ organisation showed an average pay settlement of 3.2% – the same figure as the previous four months and within “the very narrow band” they have been for the past 18 months.

Some 6% of EEF member firms imposed a pay freeze on their workers – the highest percentage since May last year – while 4% said they had deferred their pay settlement until later in the year.

David Yeandle, EEF deputy director, said: “It is clear that the increase in the cost of living is not being translated into higher wage demands.”