Despite improved worldwide progress towards millennium compliance, there is still a 70 per cent chance of a global recession, a Year 2000 expert warned this week.
At his latest Y2K online conference, millennium guru Ed Yardeni said that he had noticed a much greater effort in remediation over the last few months, with a lot of companies in the US, UK and Europe reaching the testing phase.
However, he commented: "Most surveys are only showing 15 to 20 per cent of companies in these regions have finished work on Y2K issues. Most large companies say they will be ready but are not sure of their suppliers."
He added: "I still think there is a 70 per cent chance of depression, which is pretty much the same expectation I had a year ago."
Also speaking at the conference, Gwyneth Flower, managing director of UK government funded Action 2000 said she was worried that businesses are becoming complacent over millennium preparations.
"In my more sanguine moments I feel reasonably confident, but I do have a perception of an easing of activity in business and government. Too many people are not tackling contingency and business continuity plans," she said.
"There is also a general feeling that the concern level amongst the public is not high. It is a question of informed anxiety, we shouldn't reassure too much as people must prepare for what may happen," she said.
Flower added that the UK government is currently testing its emergency planning and is considering issuing a statement later this year warning the general public to prepare for the millennium as they would for a natural disaster lasting several days, such as a hurricane. The US government has already issued similar advice to US citizens.
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