Britain's Osborne warns of 'cocktail' of risks in 2016


London (AFP)

British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne warned Thursday the economy faces a "dangerous cocktail of new threats" in 2016, insisting on the need to remain strict on public spending.

His comments come amid a sell-off on financial markets, with Chinese stocks plunging on concerns of a slowdown in the world's second largest economy.

"We are only seven days into the New Year, and already we've had worrying news about stock market falls around the world, the slowdown in China, deep problems in Brazil and in Russia," Osborne is to say in a speech to business leaders in Wales, according to pre-released remarks.

"Last year was the worst for global growth since the crash and this year opens with a dangerous cocktail of new threats."

Since he became chancellor in 2010, Osborne -- considered a possible successor to Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron -- has implemented austerity policies in a bid to cut Britain's budget deficit.

Growth in Britain has been stronger than its sluggish neighbours in Europe, but Osborne warned of a "creeping complacency" that the economy is "immune from the risks abroad".

The chancellor highlighted the need to continue "fixing public finances", pointing to a drop in oil prices that could spell trouble for energy giants.

He dismissed the idea of "more debt-fuelled public spending", a comment apparently aimed at the opposition Labour party whose left-wing leader Jeremy Corbyn is more favourable towards state investment.