Britain's gross domestic product shrank by 0.3 per cent between January and March, confirming the recession's clutch over the country's economy is tighter than previously thought.
The tumble was largely blamed on the UK's builders, as construction output fell 4.8 per cent after a drop of 3 per cent in the previous quarter, the steepest decline in 11 years.
Household spending was also down on the final three months of 2011.
While Thursday's figure could still be revised, it most likely means that Britain is now in a technical recession after two consecutive periods of economic decline.
The previous quarter saw GDP shrink by 0.2 per cent.
The news will heap pressure on the Government, in particular Chancellor George Osborne whose controversial austerity measures have been accused of strangling a recovery.