The uncertainty surrounding the eurozone sovereign debt crisis continues to cause considerable nervousness in the UK property and banking industries. The UK is also struggling with the ongoing impact of local fiscal tightening measures, which continue to dampen consumer confidence and constrain household finances. Furthermore, additional job cuts in the public sector are anticipated both this year and next, which is likely to place upward pressure on the already high unemployment rate of 8.4% (ILO, December 2011).
Consequently, the outlook in 2012 for the UK economy is weak, with a technical recession – two quarters of negative GDP growth – possible for 1H12 as households watch their spending and businesses remain reluctant to invest due to the uncertain economic outlook. Beyond 1H12, a gradual strengthening of the UK economy is expected with GDP growth of -0.1% and +1.1% forecast for 2012 and 2013 respectively.
Source : UBS AG