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A bigger-than-expected contraction in the British economy

Emergency services are in chaos… and “Christmas parcels” are being threatened

The British economy shrank more than expected in the third quarter from July to September, and growth was weaker than expected for most of last year, official data showed on Thursday.

And British “PA Media” said the Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product contracted by 0.3 percent in the third quarter of this year, compared with expectations for a contraction of just 0.2 percent. The office said the economy also grew less than expected in the first half of the year, as revisions showed the British economy grew 0.6 percent in the first quarter and 0.1 percent in the second. The bureau had previously said the economy grew by 0.7 and 0.2 percent in the first and second quarters.

It now shows that GDP growth in 2021 was weak in the first, third and fourth quarters. The office said gross domestic product is now estimated to be 0.8 percent lower than it was before the coronavirus pandemic, compared with earlier expectations of a 0.4 percent decline.

Building on the crisis of strikes raging in the United Kingdom, the National Health Commission in Britain is preparing to increase demand for emergency care in light of a surge in seniors following strikes by workers in nursing and ambulance services. Health officials have called on the government to negotiate with unions over pay.

On Thursday, the British news agency “BA Media” announced that ambulance workers in England and Wales will go on strike on Wednesday after a strike by nurses on Tuesday, as the National Health Commission prepares to face further pressures as a result of the strikes.

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For his part, Health Minister Steve Barclay is considering speeding up salary increases for the authority’s workers next year in an attempt to resolve the dispute, but he has made no move on current pay.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Royal Mail, England’s postal service, said it was struggling to survive and accused a union of “spreading lies” in a strongly-worded letter to staff ahead of a new round of strikes.

And Bloomberg News reported Thursday that postal workers will go on strike Friday and Saturday, disrupting the delivery of Christmas gifts and cards, a fresh blow to the company and retailers that rely on sales during the holiday season. .

Union workers in the telecommunications sector began a strike at the postal service in the summer. The dispute is over wages and business reforms, where people send fewer letters and more parcels. The union said Royal Mail wants to become a postal delivery service similar to financial services that relies on temporary employment, meaning lay off thousands of staff.