Next year "may be rocky" due to the effects of the credit crunch, which is yet to show its full impact, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has warned.
In a message to members of the union, TUC general secretary Brendan Barber blamed irresponsible lending in the US subprime mortgage market for triggering the credit crunch and called for an end to "lazy debates" about the issues surrounding the crisis.
Mr Barber said: "It is important that we do not talk ourselves into thinking the economic situation is worse than it is.
"The truth is that instability has not come from events in the real economy where people trade goods and services, but from the world of finance The greatest threat would be to confuse the difficulties now being suffered by banks with the economic fundamentals."
He added there were "lessons to be learnt", highlighting a failure to regulate the banking and mortgage markets in the US had created "the biggest threat to the world economy".
Mr Barber argued: "Perhaps it's time to celebrate the role that appropriate regulation plays every day in maintaining economic stability, protecting consumers, workers and the environment and ensuring that we live in a civilised society with rules.
"Let's make 2008 the year we stop having lazy debates about red tape, and start talking about getting the balance right - more regulation where we need it, and less where we don't."