The outgoing head of the Government's tax and spending watchdog warned he was "not confident" the UK would escape a double-dip recession.
Sir Alan Budd, who left the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) last week, said the economy would "most likely" stay in positive territory but said a second recession could not be ruled out.
Sir Alan was asked on BBC Radio 4's Today programme whether he believed Britain would avoid slipping back into negative growth. "I'm not confident of it," he said. "Our fan charts show that it is a possibility, just as much stronger growth is a possibility. It's not the most likely outcome. The most likely outcome is that the economy will continue to grow, but you cannot rule it out."
Officials from the watchdog previously indicated that the Coalition's emergency Budget had increased the chance of a double-dip recession.
Sir Alan mounted a strong defence of the OBR, praising the Chancellor George Osborne's "remarkable" decision to give up control over economic forecasts. He dismissed suggestions he had stepped down earlier than planned after a series of setbacks for the watchdog, insisting he had always planned to go after three months.Reuse content