UK falls back into recession
The quarter saw the biggest fall in construction output in three years, coupled with weak service sector growth and a fall in industrial output.
The ONS said construction output fell 3% in the quarter following a decrease of 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2011. The ONS added that the fall was partly driven a decline in public sector investment.
Industrial output was 0.4% lower while service sector output rose by just 0.1%.
A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction. The economy shrank by 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2011.
British Retail Consortium director general, Stephen Robertson, said: "Whether GDP growth is just above or just below zero doesn't change the harsh realities facing customers but it will undermine confidence at a time when we desperately need to be going forward not backwards.
He added: "If it's to rekindle recovery the Government must deliver a credible growth strategy. It should halt its tsunami of destructive new regulations and taxes. They are adding costs to individuals and households and can only prolong this new recession."
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