A double-dip recession is not a foregone conclusion for British businesses - although they face a stagnant economy, a survey has claimed.
The British Chambers of Commerce's (BCC) quarterly economic survey shows business confidence, investment, exports and employment all down in Q4 of 2011.
Continuing worries in the eurozone are hampering business in Britain, says the survey, which has compiled 7,850 responses from 6,000 British businesses.
"The results are a cause for concern and point towards stagnation in the first quarter of this year," said John Longworth, director general of the BCC.
The results were similar to those of Q3 in 2009, indicating that "improvements seen in the last two years have largely been cancelled out", he said.
"A new recession is not a foregone conclusion. However, action is needed urgently to tackle short-term stagnation and a lack of business confidence, damaged by the ongoing eurozone crisis.
"Measures to improve the flow of credit to businesses, reforms of our complex planning system, and investment in infrastructure projects [are] needed now.
"Britain's economy is at a critical stage and now is not the time to shy away from the radical decisions needed to inspire confidence and increased investment for years to come," he said.
Rising Unemployment and the Threat of Recession
Forecasts show that Britain's unemployment figure will reach 2.77 million by the end of 2012.
A double-dip recession has been predicted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development among others. And a survey of chief financial officers revealed that they too believed a second recession would happen.
Retailers had a terrible year in 2011, with scores of big-name businesses falling into administration amid falling sales. Analysts warned that 2012 is set to be just as bad.
Growth for 2011 Q4 stands at just 0.6 percent.