Payment protection insurer Pinnacle has warned an economic downturn is on Britain's doorstep and there could be serious consequences for homeowners.

Pinnacle new product director Tony Claytor said: "Hard on the heels of our recent report, Another UK Recession, we now have more evidence to support our assertion that homeowners should obtain mortgage payment protection insurance (MPPI) to cover their mortgage repayments against redundancy and unemployment."

He referred to a Federation of Information and Advice Centres warning that mortgage repossessions could double to 45,000 by 2003, compared to 23,000 last year.

He said the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply had reported manufacturing output in the UK had contracted for the ninth consecutive month in October, when a 4.4% fall was the sharpest drop registered since 1991.

Claytor added: "Coupled with the news that job adverts in the national press have plummeted to a 19-year low, it's plain that homeowners who do not currently hold MPPI should seriously consider its purchase."