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Credit crunch? It won't be over by Christmas

Cheap credit is over and its not coming back, says CBI

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The impact of the recession on British businesses may well be permanent, and will certainly last until well into the next decade, the UK's union for bosses has declared.

The downturn has had four major impacts on UK firms, according to business lobby group the Confederation of British Industry.

British business does not expect bank lending to ever return to pre-crunch levels - growing by increasing debt will no longer be an option.

Secondly firms are looking at new ways of working with partners to protect themselves against domino-style collapses sparked by one firm in the supply chain.

Thirdly ethics and sustainability will be an increasing selling point for firms.

Finally the CBI predicts a more flexibile workforce - a smaller core staff for most firms with a larger part-time workforce hired as needed.

A survey of 66 UK CEOs found 68 per cent expect no improvement in credit in 2010. Three quarters of those questioned are worried about supply chain weakness. As a result of this 68 per cent are looking for stronger relationships with partners.

The CBI release is here.

The group's annual conference runs all week, and this afternoon they're being addressed by all three party leaders. ®

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