A fall in manufacturing output dragged down the economy, countering a small rise in construction between October and December last year, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The figures were worse than expected and could put pressure on the government to consider a “Plan B” that would stimulate demand.
The prospect of a triple-dip recession, which will become official should the economy contract again in the first quarter of 2013, is expected to further dent the confidence of consumers and companies, hitting high street spending and business investment.
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