LONDON—Official figures shows that Britain’s economy shrank in the first quarter, officially returning the country to recession for the first time since 2009.
The Office for National Statistics said GDP fell 0.2 per cent in the first three months of the year from the previous quarter.
The first quarter drop follows the 0.3 per cent decline recorded in the last quarter of 2011.
The decline was unexpected—the consensus among forecasters was that the British economy eked out modest growth of 0.1 per cent.
Two consecutive quarters of negative growth are required for a country to be deemed in recession.