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Snow slows Europe's fragile economies

posted 21 Jan 2013, 09:46 by Mpelembe   [ updated 21 Jan 2013, 09:46 ]

Reuters Business Video Report - The start of a new week and UK workers are struggling to get in.

Snow is covering much of the country causing costly disruption.

Unidentified female commuter, 

"There were no trains at my station since half past seven but finally managed to get in now at 10 o'clock."

Unidentified female commuter, 

"Horrible, delays of like a couple of hours and such a mess."

One in 10 flights were cancelled at Heathrow - slightly better than the 20 percent on Sunday.

And retail was also hit as consumers stayed away from the shops.

The daily cost to businesses is estimated to be around £1 billion pounds.

And that could push an already fragile British economy into a triple-dip recession.

BGC Partner's Michael Ingram.

 Michael Ingram, strategist, BGC Partners, 

"The economy hasn't got a great deal of momentum behind it and it wouldn't take a lot to tip it over the edge. Certainly the disruption that we're seeing in terms of snow at the moment is going to impact UK GDP numbers for January and also many others countries in Europe."

Airlines scrapped 40 per cent of flights from Paris too, along with 300 flights at Frankfurt.


"We've been wanting to get to Budapest since yesterday lunchtime. We sat in the plane for two hours but it was cancelled so we've been here ever since."

With many countries in Europe struggling to keep their economies afloat - even a short spell of adverse weather can be damaging.

 Michael Ingram, strategist, BGC Partners, 

"If it's just disruption then a lot of the downturn in economic growth that we're seeing at the moment is going to come back at a later date although I would have to say net net you're probably still down on the trade."

Britain's transport nightmares come after a series of dire results from retailers.

Several chains have gone into administration.

GDP figures this Friday are expected to show negative growth for the last quarter.

More wintery weather could freeze any recovery in the next quarter.