The forthcoming General Election is likely to cause further turbulence for the already jittery UK financial markets, according to a Birmingham-based treasury services expert.
James Thomas, regional director, financial markets, Lloyds TSB Corporate, believes that the election - widely expected to be on May 5 - will add to the uncertainty which has gripped not just the UK, but the world, in the past year.
"When the markets get the jitters, the result is fluctuating interest and exchange rates, and stock markets that are anything but predictable," he said.
"When that happens, everyone feels the impact - and that includes the local economy here in the Midlands, although that may mean good news for some, and bad news for others."
He added that despite all the recent uncertainty, Midlands-based businesses had on the whole enjoyed a period of prosperity in the international market place.
He said a number of factors had contributed to this - for example, many manufacturing businesses had been cushioned from the rising commodities prices due to the weakness of the US dollar.
"Also, those businesses involved with the importation of goods from the US and the Far East have enjoyed a large reduction in costs," he said.
"Similarly, many businesses have witnessed increasing revenue streams in the Euro zone, and have benefited from the relative strength of the euro against the pound."
Mr Thomas said all these factors did not necessarily indicate that the good times would continue, as uncertainty in the financial marketplace could also spell disaster.