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While investors are hopeful that Covid’s border restrictions will be lifted, some companies are unwilling to take risks.

Toyota will halt production at its British and French plants earlier than scheduled due to Covid border closures.

Toyota will halt production at its British and French plants earlier than scheduled due to Covid border closures. Photograph: Eugene Hoshiko / AP

Toyota will halt production at its British and French plants earlier than scheduled before Christmas due to the chaos caused by the Covid-19 border closures. Writes Joanna Partridge.

The Japanese automaker said it was expecting spare parts shortages as a result of transportation delays, after France’s 48-hour ban on accompanied freight transport or Britain caused queues of mile-long trucks stuck near Dover.

Toyota said it had decided to advance the “planned seasonal shutdown” at its Deeside engine plant in North Wales and its factory at Burnaston in Derbyshire, where it makes the Corolla. Approximately 3,000 people are employed at the two plants.

The Deeside site will close for Christmas on Tuesday and the Burnaston plant on Wednesday. Its French site will also stop production two days ahead of schedule.

European factories would normally have closed for an annual shutdown on Christmas Eve and would remain closed until January 4.

The automaker said it had made the decision “in light of the traffic bans that a growing number of countries have issued for travel from the UK and due to the uncertain nature of how long the borders will be closed for logistics activities.” .




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UK government indebtedness skyrockets to 50-year high

Efforts by the UK government to get the economy moving during the summer months, with measures including eating out to help subsidies at restaurants and cafes, had a bigger effect than previously thought.

However, public finances appear to have suffered a greater impact as a result, and government indebtedness soared to a 50-year high.

The latest public finance figures in November showed that public sector net indebtedness reached £ 31.6 billion, £ 26 billion more than in November 2019, which according to the ONS is the highest indebtedness in November and the third indebtedness. highest in any month since monthly records. started in 1993.

Measures introduced by the government to reduce VAT for hospitality businesses and forgive commercial fee payments played a major role in the £ 3.8bn drop in tax revenue.

The level of indebtedness in the current financial year rose to £ 241bn, an increase of £ 188.6bn over the same period last year, pushing the annual deficit to 11.2% of GDP and the gross debt figure. of the general government to 102.8% of GDP at the end of November.

Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said:

As part of our Employment Plan, we have invested £ 280 billion to protect millions of jobs and businesses across the UK.

This is the right thing to do to protect lives and livelihoods during this acute phase of the crisis. When our economy recovers, it is right that we take the necessary steps to put public finances on a more sustainable basis and to be able to respond to future crises in the way we have done this year.


UK GDP revised to 16% for the third quarter

The UK economy experienced a faster recovery in the third quarter of the year than was initially estimated, following a quick return to work after the first shutdown. Phillip Inman writes.

The Office for National Statistics said national income, or GDP, it increased by a record 16% in the three months to the end of September instead of 15.5% in its first estimate. This leaves the economy 8.6% smaller than the previous year, instead of the 9.7% initially estimated.

A stronger increase in public spending, a boost to the demand for goods and services by an increase in employees returning to work and a small increase in business investment contributed to improving the image of the economy, said the ONS.

In a measure that indicates that the panic suffered by households after the first lockdown continued to decline in the third quarter, the ONS said that the savings rate, which shows how much people save as a proportion of their income, fell to 16.9% after hitting a record 27.4% in the second quarter.

Ruth Gregory, a British economist at consultancy Capital Economics, said the still high level of savings means there is more room for households to boost spending in the coming months.

At least the drop in the savings rate left it well above its long-term average of 8.0%. That means there is plenty of room for household spending and GDP to rebound strongly once the restrictions are lifted.



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