Economic growth will remain below pre-financial crisis levels for at least the next three years, Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King warned yesterday.
Taking the shine off a recent return to growth between July and September, Sir Mervyn said output could shrink in the year's final three months.
And the governor braced households for an "unappealing combination" of sluggish growth and above-target inflation as he presented the Bank's latest gloomy quarterly inflation report.
The economy grew 1% in the third quarter, bringing the longest double-dip recession since the 1950s to a close, but experts warned the underlying picture was bleak.
Sir Mervyn said the figures gave an "overly optimistic impression" and were not "a reliable guide to the future."
The Bank downgraded its growth forecast for next year to around 1% warning that output will remain below its historical average until mid-2015.