Recession is deeper than originally estimated

According to the latest official data, the UK economy contracted 2.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2009, its biggest quarterly decline in 51 years.

The data was far worse than the estimate of a 1.9 per cent fall and was blamed mainly on weaker output in the construction and manufacturing sectors.

This probably kills stone dead any immediate recovery in the economy by the end of the year, despite the predictions of the Chancellor and means that we are unlikely to see any significant growth in output until 2011 at the earliest.

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