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Glaxo chief says no end in sight for downturn

THE chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, the world's second-largest drug maker by revenue, said the global economy could remain sluggish for some time as tight credit markets and cautious corporate investment hamper growth.

Andrew Witty, Glaxo's CEO, said banks remain cautious about lending and companies are still "risk averse" as the impact of a credit crisis undermines investment.

"I still see significant economic contraction," Witty said yesterday at a news conference in Singapore, where Glaxo was opening a vaccine plant. "We're working on the basis that this could be a relatively anemic economic backdrop for a while."

Stock markets have surged around the world since March on expectations the worst of the global downturn is over.

"I'm not yet confident that anything is very different today than it was three months ago," Witty said.


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