London, Apr 26(ANI): The United Kingdom has slipped into a double-dip recession, a first official estimate of economic growth has shown.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the UK economy contracted by 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2012, after recording a 0.3 percent decline in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the final three months of 2011.
The first double-dip recession since 1975, deals a heavy blow to the coalition Government.
The data is in contrast to market expectations that the economy would grow by 0.1 percent in the first quarter from January to March.
"It's clearly disappointing news, I'm not disguising that.It reminds us that Britain faces a very tough economic situation because we built up enormous debts over the last decade, we had an unbalanced economy, and our recovery is not helped by the fact that much of Europe is in recession or heading into recession," Sky News quoted UK Chancellor George Osborne, as saying.
"The question being asked at the moment is, should we borrow even more or spend even more in some discretionary way in the middle of a debt crisis?I think the British people understand that that's not right," he added.
Economists and business leaders said the ONS reading of the economy is too gloomy and added that recent industry surveys for both the manufacturing and construction sectors have predicted economic growth.
"The underlying strength of the economy is probably much more robust than these data suggest. The danger is that these gloomy data deliver a fatal blow to the fragile revival of consumer and business confidence seen so far this year, harming the recovery and even sending the country back into a real recession," Markit chief economist Chris Williamson, said. (ANI)
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