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The Business Matrix: Saturday 8 March 2014

Jobs growth accelerates

US jobs growth accelerated sharply in February, despite the icy weather, keeping the Federal Reserve on track to continue cutting monetary stimulus. Employers added 175,000 jobs last month. The unemployment rate rose to 6.7 per cent as Americans returned to the market to search for work.

Bond default shocks investors

Chinese investors were given a wake-up call as the country saw its first corporate bond default in recent history. The solar panels maker Shanghai Chaori Solar failed to meet an Rmb 89.8 million (£8.8 million) interest payment due Friday. In the past companies have been bailed out by state-owned banks.

Bank buoyed by inflation survey

The Bank of England was given a boost yesterday as a survey showed the public's inflation expectations have fallen back sharply. Asked in February to estimate the rate of inflation in a year, the average response was 2.8 per cent, down from 3.4 per cent in November.

State housing boost helps Aga

The classic cookers maker Aga Rangemaster is expecting better trading this year as the housing market improves thanks to Government schemes such as Help to buy. Aga said operating profits were up 26 per cent as sales rose by 2.4 per cent to £250 million.

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