LONDON - In the last financial year before Britain voted to leave the European Union, the country gained more foreign investment projects than ever before, the government said on Tuesday.
Some 2,213 investments were made in the year ending in March, up 11 percent from the previous year, the government said. That resulted in the creation or "safeguarding" of 116,000 jobs, it said.
However, the government did not provide a value for the investments, and it did not explain how the jobs were "safeguarded". It did say 82,650 jobs were created, down from 84,603 jobs created the previous financial year.
The period covered by the government's statement ended almost three months before Britain's June 23 referendum on its EU membership. The vote to leave delivered a major blow to business confidence.
Multinational companies from consumer goods giant Unilever to carmaker Jaguar Land Rover had spoken out in favor of Britain remaining in the trading bloc. And some, such as carmaker Nissan, have said future investment will hinge on the deal Britain strikes with its former EU partners.
The United States was Britain's largest source of inward investment, providing 570 projects, followed by China with 156 and India with 140, the government said.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle, editing by Larry King)