BBC business editor was speaking at the 2012 Scotland plc Awards in Glasgow
BBC Business Editor Robert Peston gave a cautiously optimistic view of the future of the UK economy in a speech at the Scotland plc Awards in Glasgow.
The prestigious annual event, which is organised jointly by Media Scotland’s Scottish Business Insider and leading accountants PwC, attracted some 450 people.
Peston began by talking about the causes of the current economic situation which has resulted in the UK becoming the most indebted economy of any major economy.
He said there was still a big issue of debt in the UK that is yet to be solved and that was why the economy was not “going back to the races".
“It does seem to me inevitable that we are in for a period of low growth,” he said.
“That doesn’t mean to say we should be ashamed of our businesses. As we have seen tonight we have some fantastically strong manufacturing and service sector businesses.
“We just haven’t got enough of them and the notion you can reconstruct your economy to move from being a consuming economy to an industrial economy overnight (is nonsense).
“This is a long haul and requires quote a long period of private sacrifice. It is a course we have got to stick to because that way lies prosperity but it is not a particularly easy course."
But he said he did not want to leave the audience thinking it was all bad news.
He cited a recent IMF study which showed the UK economy was the one least at risk in the sovereign debt crisis of any of the major economies.
“My own view is we ought to be able to maintain growth of about one per cent and it might be for five to ten years.
“Is that so terrible? I don’t believe it is. The issue about that one per cent is what you do with it and how you make the best use of resources. That, I think, is where the debate has to be now.
“That debate has to be about how we reconstruct the economy but also how we make the best use of what will be an extended period of limited resources.”