The U.S. job market roared back to life in June, with a better-than-expected 222,000 new positions created in June while the unemployment rate held at 4.4 percent, according to a government report published on Friday.
Wage growth, however, remained muted, with average hourly earnings rising 2.5 percent on an annualized basis, essentially unchanged from the previous month. On a monthly basis, the rise was 0.2 percent, which actually was a shade below the 0.2 percent expectation.
Even though the June national unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 4.4 percent, millions of people are still out of work, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It reports that 1.7 million people have been out of work for more than six months and that many may not be able to get a job due to a skills shortage.
The UK trade deficit widened from £6.9bn to £8.9bn in the three months to May 2017. The pound was sold off across the board when the data was released, as it was also revealed production fell by 1.2 per cent in the same period.
The Office for National Statistics said the widened deficit reflects a higher rise in imports than the rise in exports of goods, particularly in transport equipment (cars, aircraft and ships), oil and electrical machinery from non-EU countries, while a decrease in exports of services also contributed. Import prices increased by 0.5 per cent in the three months to May 2017 whereas export prices remained flat.