Negative signs add to pressure for UK stimulus

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The Independent Online

Fresh signs have emerged that the British economy is "flatlining", giving more ammunition to the incoming Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, who declared at the weekend that much more could be done to stimulate growth.

Deloitte's quarterly survey of consumers showed a net balance of minus 33 per cent of those surveyed feeling positive about their disposable income – only marginally better than the minus 39 per cent seen a year earlier.

Worries about issues such as job security, personal debt and children's education all increased.

Meanwhile, the independent property analyst HomeTrack found house prices were flat in January. New buyer registrations and property listings both fell, although the "lack of supply is acting as a support to pricing levels".

It comes as Mr Carney, who takes over at the Bank of England in July, told the World Economic Forum in Davos that monetary policy was far from "maxed out" and central banks must work harder to boost anaemic economies – even if it risks an increase in inflation.

UK GDP fell 0.3 per cent in the last quarter of 2012, the fourth time in five quarters that the economy did not grow.