21/01/2013 05:11 GMT

Triple Dip Recession More Likely Due To Snow And Freezing Weather Warn Economists

The snow and freezing weather could have dire consequences beyond the disruption to commuting, flying and schools, economists have warned.

The chances of Britain entering a triple-dip recession are being exacerbated by the negative effect on high street spending caused by people being deterred from venturing outdoors.

Figures out on Friday are expected to show a contraction in the British economy and a dip GDP of around -0.1%, reports the Financial Times.

Could the snow but the economy into a deep freeze?

Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight said: "With the economy in a fragile state, even relatively limited disruption from snow and freezing conditions could very well be enough to tip the balance towards modest GDP contraction rather than modest growth in the first quarter of this year.

"Consumers are prevented from getting to the shops or to restaurants, pubs and entertainment venues, some people are unable to get into work while others have to stay at home due to the need to look after their children as a consequence of schools being closed, construction work is hit, and supply chains are disrupted due to the difficulties in moving goods, components and raw materials around the country.

"Meanwhile, there will be a hit to the revenues and profits of the airlines, freight companies and other transport providers if airports are shut and the transport system is gridlocked."

Speaking to Sky News, Jon Sellors of insurance group RSA, estimated the cost to the British economy of each day of heavy snow to be £473m.

In 2010, heavy snow is estimated to have caused a dip in GDP of -0.5%.