The UK economy contracted by 0.2% in the final quarter of 2011, data from the Office for National Statistics reveals.
This compares of growth of 0.6% in the previous quarter.
The preliminary gross domestic product estimate for Q4 2011 shows that production output decreased by 1.2% in Q4, compared to an increase of 0.2% in Q3.
Construction sector output fell by 0.5% in Q4 2011, compared with an increase of 0.3% in the previous quarter.
Output of the service industries was unchanged in Q4 2011, following a rise of 0.7 per cent in the previous quarter.
Ben Thompson, managing director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, says: “So much is in the balance at the moment and there can’t have been too many times historically when there has been such a high level of interest in one quarterly set of results.
“Psychologically the thin margin between growth and decline makes so much difference right now in terms of confidence.”