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A sluggish recovery is taking root in Britain after one of the deepest and strangest recessions on record. Over the past few weeks, data signals have appeared pointing to more economic activity – the services sector is growing again, manufacturing picked up in May and output is finally rising. Manufacturers are more optimistsic and unemployment is coming down. Yet the good news arrives after a period of unprecedented wage cuts. The average Briton has suffered more financial pain over the past five years than in any recorded period as workers agreed to work for less pay to save their jobs.