LONDON, Dec 31: President Pervez Musharraf has a greater than 50 per cent risk of losing his job in 2008, British daily Financial Times forecast on Monday.“Mr Musharraf’s supporters in the US and in the Pakistani military may conclude that he is too tainted and divisive a figure to merit further support. A period of increased instability is now inevitable.

“There is a better than even chance that Mr Musharraf will not be president by the end of the year,” it said.

In other New Year’s tips, the daily predicted that Hillary Clinton would win the US presidency and the world’s biggest economy would avoid falling into a full-blown recession.

It predicted that China would not revalue its currency.

“Barring a remarkable upset, the Democratic nominee will win the election, so great is the unpopularity of this (Bush) administration, and Mrs Clinton will be the nominee,” it said.

While noting the surge in favour of her rival Barack Obama, it concluded that “her lead among Democrats is big and well-entrenched. Overturning it is likely to be beyond even Mr Obama.”

On the global economic front, the FT said the credit-crunch which started in the United States this year would continue, adding that “the really big uncertainty is whether further contagion will occur.” But the US economy itself should avoid complete disaster, it forecast. “The US will skate along the brink of recession in early 2008, but should avoid tipping over the brink,” it said.

“Nonetheless, the economy will not bounce back quickly and will instead endure a protracted period of weak growth, during which time it will be vulnerable to any further economic shocks,” it said.

Elsewhere, President Vladimir Putin was set to retain the ‘real power’ in Moscow despite stepping down in March polls, since parliament might well vote to transfer powers to him as prime minister, it said. However, “he is not in a position to become a dictator” as power was divided in the Kremlin, it said.—AFP

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