U.K. companies reported better-to-than expected earnings and job growth in their latest quarterly earnings reports, boosting confidence in their continued economic recovery.
The U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCA) reported that U.Y.S.-based businesses increased sales, profits and employment by 7.3 percent and 6.4 percent respectively.
Sales and profit growth in Japan, the largest economy in the world, was 4.1 percent.
Businesses also added 1.4 million jobs, a slight rise from the prior quarter, while the unemployment rate fell to 7.5 percent from 7.9 percent.
That’s a slight drop from 7 percent last quarter.
The jobless rate was 6.5 per cent, a bit lower than the 7.7 percent rate reported in January.
The report also showed that the number of job openings was unchanged at 6.7 million.
The Reuters/Ipsos survey of economists surveyed by Bloomberg had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.
The head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is facing pressure to explain why he refused to tell lawmakers about his private conversations with former national security adviser Michael Flynn before he was fired last week.FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday defended his decision to keep quiet about the communications, saying he was acting “in the public interest”.
“I didn’t break the law, nor did I intend to,” Comey said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
“But it is a decision that is being challenged.
And it is not just the president of the United States, but a number of members of Congress, who are challenging that decision.”
The FBI’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US election, including the alleged interference of Trump campaign associates, is being led by a team of special counsels led by Robert Mueller, a former FBI director.
Flynn resigned as national security advisor in February, less than a month after he gave a misleading testimony to Congress.
Comey said in January that he had warned the Trump administration in March that Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak were “potentially illegal”.