City finance chiefs fear triple dip

Ben Southwood
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THE FRAGILE UK economy still has a two-fifths chance of sinking back into what would be a triple dip recession, chief financial officers warned today.

Rocked by financial and economic uncertainty, which 93 per cent of finance chiefs judged above normal, firms surveyed by Deloitte in the fourth quarter of 2012 said there was a 40 per cent chance the UK would suffer a return to economic contraction in the coming two years.

Investment, hiring and discretionary spending all looked to be on their way down – though at a slower rate than in the third quarter – with a majority of CFOs predicting further decline in each case. And government didn’t appear to be helping firms out – firms rated the general level of regulation as the absolute worst area of government policy and the only area that was on balance inappropriate for the long-term success of business.

But the survey’s results were not entirely negative. Those expecting a return to recession in the next two years was lower than in the last two quarters, and overall economic confidence moved marginally into positive territory.