The British economy is facing downturn. Skyrocketing inflation, caused by sanctions against Russia, and crippling energy bills have spurred waves of strikes in various sectors.
New figures have shown that patriotic Britons drinking themselves into stupors during the World Cup spared them from economic recession – and perhaps even there own jobs.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the economy expanded by just 0.1% in November, avoiding predictions that it would shrink by 0.2% and plunge Britain into a technical recession.
The increase was in part due to soccer fans packing into pubs to watch a FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which was held later in the year than normal to avoid the searing heat of Gulf summers.
“The economy did increase slightly in November, and increases in telecoms and computer programming helped drive growth,” said Darren Morgan, ONS Director of Economic Statistics. “Bars and pubs were doing quite well too, with people going out to see World Cup games.
But that increase was only partially making up for losses caused by a nationwide bank holiday called to mark the late Queen Elizabeth IIs funeral in September.
Morgan said that in December, the economy had to contract by 0.6% in order to declare Britain in technical recession.
The country is now suffering from a crisis of cost-of-living. Double-digit inflation has been fuelled by an energy crunch caused by sanctions and embargoes against Russia for its de-Nazification military operations in Ukraine — on which the government has led the charge.
This has led to a spate of strikes, with wage offers from public and private employers failing to keep pace with rising prices.