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UK risks Triple-Dip Global Recession, Mervyn King warns Persistently low growth will last until the next election, Bank of England governor warns as he cuts 2013 Growth forecast to 1%



UK risks Triple-Dip Global Recession,
Mervyn King warns
Persistently low growth will last until the next election,
Bank of England governor warns as he cuts 2013
Growth forecast to 1%



The UK economy risks suffering from a triple-dip recession amid a period of persistently low growth that will last until the next election, the governor of the Bank of England has warned.

Sir Mervyn King cut Britain's growth forecast to 1% next year and warned that output was more likely than not to remain below pre-crisis levels over the next three years. "There seems a greater risk that the UK economy may be in a period of persistent low growth," he said on Wednesday.

The UK economy emerged from a double-dip recession in the third quarter of this year, when the economy grew by 1%, but King warned that this was driven by one-off factors. "Continuing the recent zig-zag pattern, output growth is likely to fall back sharply in the fourth quarter as the boost from the Olympics in the summer is reversed – indeed output may shrink a little this quarter," he said. If that period of contraction continues into 2013, the UK could drop into a triple-dip recession.

At the same time, the Bank significantly raised its inflation forecasts. Inflation is now is expected to reach around 3% in the near-term and not fall back significantly until the second half of 2013, later than previously thought.

UK inflation jumped to a surprise five-month high of 2.7% last month, driven by rises in tuition fees and dearer food bills. Energy price rises over the next few months are likely to drive it even higher.

King said the outlook for inflation was the main reason why the monetary policy committee decided not to expand the quantitative easing (QE) programme in November. He said there were limits to what monetary policy could do to boost an economy undergoing far-reaching adjustments in the wake of the financial crisis and amid severe headwinds from the eurozone debt crisis.

But economists said the bank may still engage in more QE in the future. Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight said: "With economic recovery currently looking feeble, fragile and far from guaranteed, we believe that the Bank of England will ultimately decide to give the economy a further helping hand with a final £50bn of QE. This seems most likely to occur in the first quarter of 2013."

Labour said this gloomy outlook proved the coalition government's economic plans were not working. The shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, said: "This sobering report shows why David Cameron and George Osborne's deeply complacent approach to the economy is so misplaced. Their failing policies have seen two years of almost no growth and the Bank of England is now forecasting lower growth and higher inflation than just a few months ago."








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