There have been recent signs that the pace of decline in the economy is levelling off but it is too soon to draw strong conclusions from that, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King was quoted as saying on Friday.
In an interview published on the Southern Daily Echo newspaper's website, King was quoted as saying: "We are seeing now some signs that the rate at which outlook was falling is beginning to flatten off but I don't think anyone should draw strong conclusions."
The newspaper said he went on to note that confidence had dropped markedly as the economy had fallen into recession.
"You can't regain it quickly, so it's bound to take a lot longer to recover than it was to fall into recession, which was a very sharp fall in activity over the last six months," he was quoted as saying.
"I don't think it would be sensible to expect activity to pick (up) as quickly."
King's comments in the regional newspaper are in line with the cautious tone on the economy he employed in a major speech he made on Wednesday.