Harsh economic winter, but no recession says CBI

The
CBI has warned UK businesses to expect a harsh economic winter but not an
overall recession.

CBI
chief Digby Jones tried to allay fears that the economy would slip into
recession following the first rise in unemployment for a decade.

"The
labour market is on the turn. This confirms our fears that the UK’s fundamentally
strong economy is being hit hard by the global slowdown, although these figures
should be seen in the context of the whole economy."

Many
fear that the combined effects of the global economic downturn and the
aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 11 September will lead the UK into an
all-out recession.

Jones
stated that the UK will escape a full recession but urged companies not to
underestimate the size of the task ahead.

"Despite
current difficulties, people should remain cautiously optimistic that we can
steer clear of an economy-wide recession. Skills shortages remain and that
means there will be job opportunities for skilled workers in the private
sector. Continuing recruitment in the public sector will also soften the blow.

"However,
nobody should underestimate the problems. Firms are bracing themselves for a
cold economic winter, with more job losses to come particularly in
manufacturing and tourism," he warned.

www.cbi.org.uk

By Ross Wigham

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