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Suzy In The City: North set to feel US chills.

Byline: IAN GRAHAM

THE rapid slowdown in the US economy could impact closer to home by the end of the year, it was claimed yesterday.

Business advisors Pricewaterhouse

Coopers said US growth was down to just over 1 per cent and its manufacturing sector was technically in recession.

It was already impacting on European confidence and by the end of the year the consequences may be felt just across the Border, said PwC managing partner Stephen Kingon.

He said the "remarkable growth" of the North's economy during the 1990s must not allow the business community to become complacent.

Underlying structural weaknesses remained in the economy and a number of newer companies lacked the direct experience of operating in a recessionary climate.

Mr Kingon said any economic slowdown would take its toll in increased business failures and greater pressures on margins and cash.

Companies capable of competing in a recessionary environment would be best placed to survive the hard times.

He told the conference of the Institute of Credit Managers in Belfast that a survey carried out by his company showed worrying contradictions on credit management.

Only half had a written credit policy and regularly undertook credit checks before extending credit.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 9, 2001
Words:200
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