Average pay deals in manufacturing firms have remained at 2.3% in recent months as companies keep a tight hold on costs because of the state of the economy, according to a new study.
An analysis of more than 200 settlements by the EEF manufacturers' organisation showed that most were worth 3% or less, with one in 10 involving a wage freeze.
EEF chief economist Lee Hopley said: "The main bargaining period for manufacturing companies is passing with no evidence of pay pressures despite the increase in the cost of living."
He continued: "These figures continue to suggest a cautious outlook for many companies who are bearing down on their internal costs, particularly those that continue to operate pay freezes."
John Morris, chief executive of JAM Recruitment, which helped with the report, said: "Manufacturers are naturally cautious on costs at the moment.
"The sector is emerging from a time of great uncertainty, which is why we are still waiting for the quiet confidence we are hearing from our clients to have an impact on levels of pay."