Brown to ride out economic storm

19-12-2007

Brown to ride out economic storm
Gordon Brown has insisted that the UK economy is strong enough to emerge unscathed from the uncertainty caused by the global credit crunch.

The prime minister told journalists that low inflation and government steps would help the country to "weather the global financial storm".

Speaking at his monthly press conference Mr Brown welcomed moves by central banks to ease liquidity problems in financial markets.

He also revealed that he had spoken to German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy over possible steps to further combat the "gumming up" of inter-bank lending.

"We stand able to weather the global financial storms and to respond where necessary, as the Bank of England has already done, with a cut in interest rates," he said.

Standing alongside the prime minister, Alistair Darling reiterated the message that the UK economy was "growing well".

The chancellor also refused to rule out the possibility of nationalising troubled lender Northern Rock, which yesterday had its Treasury guarantees extended.

"All options are on the table," Mr Darling, who explained that the £57 billion lent to Northern Rock was giving the bank "breathing space", added.

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