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UK fears double-dip more than any other country.

The fear of a double-dip recession is rated higher in the UK than in any other country, according to the annual Ernst & Young report asking companies to rate the risks they face.

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The fourth Ernst & Young Turn Risks and Opportunities into Results report found that although the potential for a double-dip recession dropped down the table globally to eighth position, in the UK it remained prominent, with respondents ranking it joint fourth, reflecting a relative slowness in emerging from the financial crisis.

The report surveyed more than 700 leading organisations, asking respondents about the most pressing risks and opportunities facing their companies. Overall, it found that in the UK cost-cutting topped the potential business hazards, followed by uncertainties around regulation and compliance, with pricing pressures in third place.

This need for companies to respond to aggressive pricing, particularly in mature markets, entered the list of hazards for the first time.

The report also found that the largest opportunity for UK businesses in the current climate is improving execution of strategy across business functions, followed by innovating in products, services and operations, and investment in IT.

Gerard Gallagher, advisory partner and head of private sectors at Ernst & Young, said: "The UK is focused on the effects of cost-cutting and fears of a double-dip recession, reflecting slowness in economic growth.

"Though there are a number of potential challenges, there is also evidence of responsive efforts, such as firms managing risk through programmes, adjusting pricing strategies, continuous monitoring of new technologies and market risks, and increasing efficiencies."
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Title Annotation:Update
Publication:Financial Management (UK)
Date:Sep 1, 2011
Words:256
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