warns March slowdown points to double-dip recession
Printing News warns March slowdown points to double-dip recession chief executive Tony Rafferty has voiced concern that the UK could be heading for a double-dip recession after the company issued a profit warning this morning (6 April).

In a pre-close statement, the company said that trading had softened across its established markets in the UK and Ireland in March and that its results for the year ended 31 March 2010 would consequentially be "marginally below market expectations".

While annual profits at the hub-and-spoke print franchise are unlikely to dip much more than 5% below the £1.85m forecast, the poor trading conditions in March could be indicative of a wider malaise in the UK economy.

Rafferty described is business as "one of the best barometers of economic confidence" and added that there had been increased caution from UK SMEs, which make up the bulk of the print franchise is clients, in March.

"We have seen circumstances in March that point to a material drop in confidence in the SME community," he said.

"The problem is that the money that has come into the top of the economy through the stimulus package is not getting through to SMEs."

Rafferty added that with today is confirmation of a 6 May election, he hoped that the return of political stability post-election would have a beneficial impact on business confidence.

Rafferty confirmed that was "looking at the opportunity with some interest"

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