UK pay growth has lagged behind inflation again, but the figures are likely to cement expectations among investors that the Bank of England will soon raise interest rates for the first time in a decade. 

Today's data also showed the UK unemployment rate between June and August held at its 42-year low of 4.3%.

This is another one of the reasons why the Bank of England thinks pay is likely to pick up soon. 

Despite a slowdown in Britain's economy this year, the Bank of England is widely expected to increase its key rate to 0.5% from an all-time low of 0.25% on November 2, at the end of its next meeting. 

The Bank of England has said it expects pay growth to pick up speed soon because the unemployment rate is below the 4.5% level that it considers to be a trigger for inflation pressure in the economy. 

The bank also thinks Brexit will increase price growth in Britain. 

The Office for National Statistics said that workers' total earnings, including bonuses, rose by an annual 2.2% in the three months to August and it slightly revised up growth in the three months to July to 2.2% as well. 

Economists taking part in a Reuters poll had expected wage growth of 2.1%. 

Excluding bonuses, earnings rose by 2.1%, a little stronger than the Reuters poll forecast of 2%.

Wages have steadily fallen behind inflation which hit 3% in September, its highest level in more than five years. 

In August alone, total wages picked up speed to grow by 2.2% after a slowdown in July to 1.7%. 

The steady loss of spending power for households is not just a headache for the Bank of England. 

UK prime minister Theresa May has promised help for households and has proposed a cap on power tariffs to ease the squeeze on their budgets. 

The UK's finance minister Philip Hammond is under pressure to come up with further measures when he announces his budget plan in November. 

But he has little margin for error given the still weak state of Britain's public finances. 

Today's ONS figures also showed that the number of people in work rose by 94,000 people in the three months to August, about half the increase in the three months to July but still a relatively strong rate of growth.

The employment rate stood at 75.1%, falling slightly from the previous reading but still higher than in most other rich economies the ONS said.