In comparison w i th other European countries, Britain appeared to emerge from the war in a comparatively healthy condit ion. Employment was higher than in 1939 and industrial capacity, in spite of the bombing , was also greater. T h e standard of living migh t be somewhat lower , bu t w i t h a rapid and massive changeover from war t ime to peacetime ou tpu t s , that could presumably be put r ight fairly quickly. Wage-earners were d rawing higher real incomes even if they could not buy w i t h them w h a t they most wanted . By contrast , the three major continental countries, France, Italy and Germany, had suffered severely from warfare, occupation and destruct ion. Their economic systems were disorganized and recovery delayed by shattered communicat ions and shortages of fuel, materials and equipment . In Germany product ion was almost at a standstill; in France and Italy it was far below capacity.