Belfast Telegraph

Expert optimistic threat of 'double-dip' has passed

By Margaret Canning

An investment analyst has urged stronger action from European leaders on the sovereign debt crisis while also expressing his view that the much-dreaded double dip recession has not come to pass.

Barclays Wealth equity strategist Henk Potts, who visited Belfast yesterday, said economic recovery was taking shape.

"I don't think you should be too pessimistic about the outlook. For example, I don't think we are in the double-dip recession that some analysts are talking about."

But he added that the UK had some time to go before full recovery. "It has been a pretty horrendous recession and hasn't really emerged from that with any real conviction. That's likely to be the case for some time to come. I think we are talking some pretty anaemic growth from the UK over the course of the next few years."

European factors were also inhibiting recovery. "The eurozone has caught the plague and the aspirin the authorities have been dishing out simply hasn't been strong enough to kill off the uncertainty, the risk of contagion. The authorities need to be a lot more aggressive."

Mr Potts, who is also a frequent guest on finance programmes on Sky News, BBC, Bloomberg and other channels, said firm action should be taken. "Indebted countries need to introduce austerity measures in a transparent and tangible fashion, the bailout mechanisms need to be given the financial firepower they require - and we are moving towards that - and the establishment of a European-wide bond. That's what would solve the European sovereign debt crisis."