Welcome signals of economic recovery should be tempered by the Government’s over-optimistic growth forecasts according to Tom Vosa, Clydesdale Bank’s chief economist, when he addressed a group of leading Milton Keynes businesses.
Speaking at a breakfast meeting hosted by Clydesdale Bank in its sponsored ballroom at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes, Mr Vosa said the UK should expect only sluggish economic growth as it emerges from recession.
Around 150 local executives heard Mr Vosa explain how the UK economy had contracted by 4 per cent in a matter of months, including a 1.9 per cent reduction in the first three months of 2009 which is the worst quarterly figure since 1979.
Mr Vosa said the Government’s policy of quantitative easing would achieve its aim as long as money continued to circulate around the economy. He said: “We are coming out of it but we are not out of the woods yet. The government’s policy will bring some growth this year but there will be a small contraction in the first half of next year before we reach no more than 2 per cent growth by the end of 2010.”
Mark Bradbury, Managing Partner of Clydesdale’s Milton Keynes Financial Solutions centre, said: “As always, Tom provided a fascinating insight into the UK economy, proving businesses in Milton Keynes with a vast amount of information they can then use to assist them in the day to day running of their operations.
“We are also keen to get the message across that as a bank we are open for both depositors and borrowers. We treat both with equal importance. Every pound deposited with Clydesdale will be used to provide vital lending to help build businesses locally.
“Although Tom spoke on the state of the UK economy, the focus for Clydesdale is local. We believe we understand the particular trends and characteristics of the region which helps us deliver a truly local relationship banking service with local decision making and local ownership.”
During the breakfast meeting £380 was raised for Help The Hospice and Garden House Hospice in Letchworth, an amount which will be doubled by Clydesdale Bank.