BRITAIN has sunk back into recession -- the first double-dip downturn since the 1970s.
The UK's Office for National Statistics said that the size of the overall economy there declined by 0.2pc in the first three months of 2012.
This follows a 0.3pc contraction in the fourth quarter of last year, according to the Office for National Statistics.
A technical recession is defined as two or more consecutive quarters of economic decline.
The shock downturn piles further pressure on the Government to step up its efforts to boost the economy, and highlights the challenges it faces in reducing Britain's debt from record levels.