Deteriorating business sentiment in European markets and a projected slowdown of growth in the United States is weighing on economic growth prospects for Europe, said rating services Standard & Poor's on Tuesday.
On the newly published report named "The Specter Of A Double Dip In Europe Looms Larger", S&P forecasted GDP growth in the eurozone at 1.1 percent in 2012, compared with 1.5 percent in earlier projection.
For Britain, the rating services expected a GDP growth rate at 1.7 percent in 2012, slightly below 1.8 percent projection in August.
As a result of market developments in recent weeks, S&P had for the second time in five weeks revised downward its projections for economic growth in the region for the next five quarters.
"We still don't expect a genuine double dip to occur in the eurozone as a whole or in the U.K., but we recognize that the probability of another recession in western Europe has continued to grow," said Jean-Michel Six, Standard & Poor's chief economist for Europe.
"We now estimate the probability of a new recession in western Europe next year at about 40 percent, although in our baseline forecast we continue to anticipate sluggish and unevenly distributed growth in the coming five quarters," said the economist.
Business surveys from August and September point to a fresh deterioration in the business climate, visible not only in those economies typically most exposed to the sovereign debt crisis -- such as Portugal, Spain and Ireland -- but also in the core countries of the eurozone and in Britain.
This reflects not just the slowdown in the manufacturing and service sectors across Europe since the beginning of the second quarter, but also sharply increased financial market pressures on European banks, the report said.