Sir Mervyn King, the outgoing Governor of the Bank of England, yesterday struck an upbeat tone on economic prospects this year, despite the UK flirting with an unprecedented triple-dip recession.
In a rare interview, Sir Mervyn – who steps down in June – stressed that the economy's underlying performance was far healthier than official figures suggested.
His comments come just days after a shock January 1.5 per cent slump for Britain's manufacturers put the UK perilously close to a triple-dip, after the economy shrank 0.3 per cent between October and December.
He told ITV News: "A reasonable judgement based on where we are today is that recovery is in sight. If you just take away for the moment what happened in North Sea oil production and in construction the UK economy even last year grew by 1.5 per cent. There is momentum behind the recovery that is coming and I think that during the course of 2013 we will see that recovery come into sight."