Panel: UK will fall back into recession in 2012

 
Elizabeth Fournier
MORE than two thirds of our panel believe the UK will fall back into recession before the end of 2012, with 27 per cent seeing a double dip as “highly likely”, according to the results of our latest Voice of the City poll, in association with PoliticsHome.com.

Following GDP figures for the end of 2011 that showed the UK economy contracted by 0.2 per cent in the final quarter, 68 per cent of the panel said this week that a recession this year was either somewhat (41 per cent) or highly likely, with just 16 per cent seeing it as unlikely.

Though just 15 per cent of respondents said they were “very concerned” by the latest data, a further 44 per cent admitted to being “somewhat concerned”.

Echoing chancellor George Osborne’s (pictured) admission that he was “disappointed but not surprised” by the fall in economic activity, one panellist called the figures “worrying but predictable”, while others said they would wait for revised numbers to be released before drawing a conclusion.

“Negative or flat GDP numbers are going to be a fact of life for quite some time to come given the problems in Europe and the high debt levels here in the UK,” commented one member.

Eighty per cent admitted the recent GDP figures were damaging to the coalition government, but the effects were not seen as too dire, with a small minority (eight per cent) calling them “very damaging”, compared to 50 per cent who said they were “a little damaging”.

To join our panel of business and finance professionals and have your say on the topic of the week, visit cityam.com/panel.