The UK is facing an unpleasant, "sober" decade, Bank of England governor Mervyn King has warned.
Mr King was speaking to an audience in the West Midlands on the eve of the government's Spending Review.
He described the sober decade as one of "savings, orderly budgets, and equitable re-balancing".
He added countries must guard against trade protectionism to avoid disastrous consequences similar to the collapse of the global economy in the 1930s.
Mr King said there would not be a speedy recovery as the re-balancing of the economy would take some time.
"The next decade will not be nice. History suggests that after a financial crisis the hangover lasts for a while," he said.
Mr King said it may be some time before inflation returns to its target of 2%.
Mr King also raised hopes that the Bank may inject more money into the economy through its process of quantitative easing (QE).
He said that at present the amount of money in the economy was still "barely growing at all".
He added that it was a "key role" for the Bank to provide stimulus when the economy was in need.
The Bank has so far put £200bn into the economy through QE.
Some economists now expect the Bank could inject at least another £100bn into the economy following the next meeting of its Monetary Policy Committee at the start of November.