It is the second quarter in a row that output has fallen after dropping 0.3% in Q4 2011.
It is a hammer blow to chancellor George Osborne’s economic plans after he predicted the UK would avoid recession in last month’s Budget.
The construction sector saw a devastating collapse in output of 3% after a 0.2% fall in the last quarter.
While the rate of decline in the production industries slowed by decreasing 0.4% in Q1 2012, following a drop of 1.3% in Q4 2011.
The service industries remained static increasing 0.1% after falling by the same level the previous quarter.
Eric Stoclet, chief executive for Crown Mortgage Management, says the economy going into a recession is not a surprise to most people.
He says: “With inflation stuck well above wage growth, most consumers are losing purchasing power by the day. If one adds to that consumer deleveraging both by choice and through lack of sources of credit, a consumer led recovery is not very likely.
“In the current environment with public and private sector and the consumer eager to cut their debt levels, finding the elixir of recovery is going to be tricky. Keynesian advocates would argue for more government investment in infrastructure but that as well is not forthcoming.”