The group announced a pre-tax loss for 1992 of pounds 4.9m, down from pounds 46.6m the year before, but Mr Dugdale attributed this more to stricter management controls than to general economic improvement.
Business failures reported by Trade Indemnity's customers fell by 4 per cent last year to 8,470 and it forecast 'another modest fall of around 10 per cent' in 1993.
But this still represented a large number of well-established companies going bust, Clive Brand, the company's economist, warned. He forecast UK economic growth for 1993 at 0.7 per cent, roughly half the Chancellor's estimate in the Budget. Mr Brand agreed with Mr Lamont's figure for 1994, 1.75 per cent, but said this would be from a lower base than the Government's.
'We see a slower recovery than the Chancellor, with pockets of improvement at the moment rather than a widespread upswing,' Mr Brand said.
Exporting companies had benefited from sterling's devaluation on Black Wednesday, which Mr Brand remarked could be more accurately called 'White Wednesday'.
Chemicals and textiles were also improving, although the latter had been one of the very first sectors to go into recession in 1987.
Growth in the US was offset by deepening gloom in the UK's other two main export markets, France and Germany, Mr Brand said.
'There is still no major catalyst for growth, whether from consumer demand, business investment or exports,' he said.Reuse content