As former chancellor Ken Clarke warns of the real risk of a double-dip recession, a CRN poll has shown the channel to be equally pessimistic.
Clarke told the Observer that continuing global uncertainty and downturns in other markets could see the UK dragged back into the economic mire. The justice secretary, who served as chancellor of the exchequer from 1993 to 1997, claimed it could take another five years to "get back to economic normality".
The Tory MP stressed, however, that he considered the chance of a double-dip recession hitting the UK to be less than 50 per cent.
"What I am worried about is global uncertainties and our being hit by downturns in key markets," he said. I do not rule out the risk of a double-dip recession caused by some fresh wave of global fear and crisis."
This week's CRN poll shows much of the channel shares Clarke's concerns, with 43 per cent of respondents claiming they believe there will be a double-dip recession. A further 21 per cent claim it is impossible to say at this point, while just 36 per cent firmly believe the economy will not lurch downwards again.
Clarke pointed out that global financial markets continue to yo-yo.
"As the Irish are discovering, we are not out of bank crises yet; we are not out of sovereign debt crises," he said. "The markets stabilised for a bit and then became volatile again. We have had some funny things going on in the currency market."
But prime minister David Cameron has been quick to downplay his minister's remarks, asserting that the coalition government has helped ensure the UK is no longer "in the danger zone".
Existing European agreement expanded into new region
Your latest edition of CRN
Bipul Sinha tells CRN that there is no timeline for an IPO move