You'd have to be somewhat naïve to think that they had ever come out of 'recession'. Apparently Greece is 'in recession'
British economy sinks back into recession
Official data shows Britain's economy has sunk back into recession amid ongoing state austerity and the eurozone debt crisis.
25 April, 2012
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) says Britain's economy has returned to technical recession - defined as two successive quarters of contraction - after shrinking by 0.3 per cent in the previous three months.
The data confounded most analysts' expectations that gross domestic product (GDP) would grow by 0.1 per cent in the quarter from January to March, compared with the final quarter of last year.
The ONS added in a statement that the decline in first-quarter GDP - the value of all goods and services produced by the economy - was driven by a poor performance by the construction and manufacturing sectors.
Britain's economy had clawed its way out of a record-length recession in the third quarter of 2009 following a downturn sparked by the global financial crisis.
But it has now returned to recession amid painful government spending cutbacks and fallout from the debt crisis in the neighbouring eurozone, which is a key trading partner.
Britain joins a number of eurozone countries in recession, including Spain, and bailed-out nations Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
Overall, the 17-nation eurozone's output shrank by 0.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year, while recent weak data has sparked deep worries that the region is also back in recession.
Highlighting the extent of Britain's debt strains, official data on Tuesday showed public sector net debt as a percentage of GDP - excluding the cost of bank bailouts - hit a record high 66 per cent in March.
Britain's total debt stands at 1.022 trillion pounds ($1.599 trillion), the ONS had revealed.
"It's a very tough economic situation," British finance minister George Osborne said in response to the figures.
"It's taking longer than anyone hoped to recover from the biggest debt crisis of our lifetime - even after the recent fall in unemployment.
"But over many years this country built up massive debts, which we are having to pay off. It's made much harder when so much of the rest of Europe is in recession or heading into it.
"The one thing that would make the situation even worse would be to abandon our credible plan and deliberately add more borrowing and even more debt."