The UK is in the “most difficult” position of all the major world economies, Mark Carney has said.
The former governor of the Bank of England said the problem had been “amplified” by factors including Covid and Brexit.
The Canadian economist also warned that a recession “is more likely than not” in light of the current state of the UK economy.
He told Andrew Marr on LBC: “The UK is in the most difficult position of the major economies, full stop.
“And that has real consequences for the people listening. It’s a combination of factors. Everybody’s been hit.
“Some countries more than others by the energy shock, the UK certainly has been hit by the aftermath of Covid, it’s been amplified by the separation from the European Union.
“The combination of those factors have weighed on the economy and it has to work through and obviously real challenges in public services that are playing out before our eyes and on our streets.”
However, Carney said we should not lose sight of the “real strengths in the economy”.
It comes as the mounting cost of the government’s energy support schemes and soaring debt interest pushed state borrowing to another record last month as sky-high inflation and power bills took their toll.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said government borrowing reached a far higher-than-expected £27.4 billion last month.
It jumped by £16.7 billion year-on-year and marked the highest monthly figure for December borrowing since records began in 1993.
According to The Times, the Office for Budget Responsibility has told chancellor Jeremy Hunt that it overestimated the prospects for medium-term growth in the economy last year and it intends to revise its forecasts down.
This could wipe out all of the government’s £9.2 billion headroom in Hunt’s autumn statement.