LONDON — Britain's recession is starting to alarm economists, who fear the government-induced slowdown to quash inflation may become one of the worst slumps in decades.
"We see a deep and prolonged recession. In terms of cumulative gross domestic product loss, it could be the second-worst recession since the Second World War," said Peter Spencer, an economist at Shearson Lehman Brothers.
Economists are increasingly questioning the government's claim that the recession will be modest. Recent economic indicators and business surveys all show economic activity at its lowest level since the 1980-81 recession, Britain's worst slump in 40 years.
Surveys show the need to repay large personal and business debts built up during the 1980s, and slower growth among some of Britain's key trading partners points to a long slump.