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Britain’s industrial unrest was branded A Second Winter of Discontent (However Not a link (the mass walkouts that hit England in 1978-79) and are set to peak in the coming days with rail and postal workers. NHS staff And the driving instructors (yes, that surprised me too) are all leaving over pay and conditions.

Voting among RMT members on the latest pay offer for rail workers closes on Monday Reject the proposed contract. Offer Could have been significantly higher But a 10 per cent pay rise over two years has been blocked by government ministers, the Financial Times revealed last week. The latest of several 48-hour RMT walkouts planned over the Christmas period will begin on Tuesday.

Over 1 million working days expected to be lost due to strikes In England, December was the worst month of disruption since the end of Margaret Thatcher’s term in office.

Pressure is mounting on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s administration An anti-strike law should be enacted, we may hear more about that this week, but successive Tory prime ministers have made similar pledges that have come to nothing. Whatever Sunak does now, it will be too late Increase in industrial activity During the Christmas holidays.

Passengers at a station in London wait for news about stops © Andy Rain/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Want better news? On Tuesday, the first of a new generation of European weather satellites was initiated From Crowe in French Guiana to Space. Although Billy Bragg has sung about wanting space hardware, the £4.3bn Meteosat third-generation system offers meteorologists a real breakthrough, providing more accurate forecasts, including better warnings of imminent storms.

The three satellites will orbit in a geostationary orbit 36,000 kilometers above Africa’s equator. From there they will provide images of Europa every two and a half minutes, including the first detailed observations of lightning from space. By doing so, the system is predicted to save lives lost in extreme weather.

And then there’s football.

If you hate the FIFA World Cup, you’ll be happy to know that it’s the final week of the tournament. If you like it, you can enjoy it An unusual end of the month A beautiful game with the remaining four teams in Wednesday’s semi-finals ahead of Sunday’s final – Read the FT’s coverage for full details.

Economic data

It’s not just strikes this week. Markets focus on interest rate announcements from three emerging economies: US, EU and UK. All three are expected to fall somewhat short of the levels of planned hikes.

There is also a wealth of data from the US and UK that influence rate setting groups. The gap between short- and long-term borrowing costs — at its widest since 1981 — has bolstered expectations among central bank investors. Be sure Its monetary policy is tightening to control inflation, even as worries about a recession grow.

When the UK’s Monetary Policy Committee last met in early November, the focus was on restoring confidence in the country’s economic governance. The Bank of England continues Speak hard, but this time the MPC’s response is expected to be more measured. A 0.5 percentage point hike in the base rate is expected on Thursday, rather than a repeat of last month’s 0.75 percentage point hike.

Weekends with G7 Flash Purchasing Managers’ Index statistics. There is an EU leaders’ summit and Opec releases its monthly outlook report.

Companies

A shopper carries a Zara bag in New York

Spain’s Inditex, home of the Zara brand, among others © Demetrius Freeman/Bloomberg

It was a quiet week for earnings announcements, but a week with some notable companies reporting from specific sectors. In retail, there’s H&M, which speaks volumes Recovery in the Chinese market After a long period of consumer neglect. Expectations are also high for Spain’s Inditex, home of the Zara brand, among others. In terms of technology, there is obtainable Oracle. And in the outsourcing arena, Capita and Serco represent.

Read the full weekly calendar Here.

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