UK economy contracted by greater than expected 0.3 per cent in first quarter

LONDON – Official figures show that Britain’s economy contracted more than first estimated, shrinking by 0.3 per cent in the first quarter from the previous three month period.

The Office for National Statistics on Thursday revised its estimate from the 0.2 per cent drop reported initially. The expectation in the markets was the decline would be unrevised.

This was the second consecutive quarter of negative growth and puts Britain back in recession — officially defined as two straight quarters of negative growth. In the last three months of 2011, the British economy contracted by a quarterly rate of 0.2 per cent.