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Britain 'risks return to recession'

Britain's economy is facing a "bleak" new year, with a real risk of a return to recession during 2012, a centre-left think tank warned today.

The only good news for consumers is an expected fall in inflation, said the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).

With no solution yet found for the eurozone crisis and many European economies already back in recession, the risk is that a mood of austerity will stunt the UK's growth too, said chief economist Tony Dolphin.

"As we enter 2012, it seems the word that best describes the outlook for the UK economy is 'bleak'," said Mr Dolphin.

"Going into 2012, the risk is that talk of austerity at home and crisis in Europe will dampen spirits to such an extent that the economy drifts into recession."

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