The UK is back in recession after figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed the economy shrank by 0.2% in the first three months of 2012.
The fall in the first quarter of the year followed a 0.3% contraction in the final three months of 2011, confirming a double-dip recession.
A recession is classed as two consecutive quarters in which the economy shrinks.
A 3.0% decline in construction output contributed to the overall dip, with the sector suffering its worst performance in three years.
Output of the production industries decreased by 0.4%, while output of the service industries increased by 0.1%.
It is the first estimate made by the ONS about the first three months of the year; the estimate can be revised upwards or downwards as more economic data becomes available.
The news that the UK has fallen back into recession represents a major blow for the Government and raises questions over its austerity measures.
David Cameron is likely to come under fire at today's Prime Minister's Questions from Ed Milliband, who has frequently called the Government's economic policy into question.
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