Recession is on the cards, say finance chiefs

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More than half of the finance chiefs of Britain's biggest companies expect the UK to fall back into recession this year, after seeing credit availability deteriorate at the fastest rate since the failure of Lehman Brothers in 2008.

A Deloitte survey of finance directors of FTSE 100 companies, large private firms and UK subsidiaries of major foreign businesses found that 54 per cent believe the UK will suffer a double-dip recession – up from 27 per cent a year ago.

The finance chiefs also warned that a break-up of the euro poses the biggest single threat to their companies in 2012. Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte, said: "Finance directors entered 2011 with a focus on expanding into new markets and increasing capital spending. They enter 2012 with a focus on cutting costs and increasing cashflow."