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UK falls back into recession

The UK has returned to recession as figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that UK GDP shrank 0.2% in the first three months of 2012.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

UK falls back into recession

The UK has returned to recession as figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that UK GDP shrank 0.2% in the first three months of 2012.

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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