British Prime Minister Gordon Brown acknowledged for the first time Wednesday that the world economic downturn is likely to cause a recession in the United Kingdom.

Brown told lawmakers at his weekly question-and-answer session at the House of Commons that current economic woes were "likely to cause recession."

Bank of England Governor Mervyn King on Tuesday warned that Britain was likely entering a recession.

Accounting firm Ernst & Young published a report Monday claiming Britain has been in a recession since July, and predicting the country would not see economic growth again until 2010.

Britain's Office for National Statistics is expected to report formally on Friday that the economy shrank for the first time since 1992 during the July to September quarter. Two consecutive quarters of negative growth are the usual definition of a recession.

Main opposition Conservative Party leader David Cameron said Brown must shoulder some blame for Britain's downturn.

"He claimed the credit in the boom, why won't he take responsibility in the bust?" Cameron said.