The UK recession is 'not yet clearly worse' than other post-war downturns but there is a 'strong case' for further easing of monetary policy, according to a Bank of England policymaker.

Andrew Sentance, a member of the rate-setting monetary policy committee, said that 'the global financial crisis and synchronised global downturn' were 'producing a recession which is relatively severe compared to past precedents – but not yet clearly worse than the mid-1970s and early 1980s downturns in output'.

The financial crisis is widely seen as the worst since at least the 1930s. But the resulting recession, while worse than the economic contraction of the 1990s, was in many ways following the same path as other downturns, Sentance told the Institute of Economic Affairs yesterday.

His speech argued that the near-two-decade gap since the last recession made it harder to put the downturn in perspective and had led some commentators to 'apocalyptic and hyperbolic views'.

Financial Times