UK GDP for the fourth quarter of 2011 dropped by 0.2%, a worse than expected figure that will heighten fears of a double-dip recession.
Economists had forecast a fall of 0.1%. On a year-on-year basis GDP rose by 0.8%, as expected.
The ONS said the public sector strike seen on 30 November likely "had some impact" on the figure but said it was not possible to measure the effect directly and suggested the direct impact was minimal.
The ONS said production activity was down 1.2%, manufacturing falling 0.9%, construction down 0.5% and flat activity in the services sector.
Sterling moved fractionally up to $1.5555 on the news, having fallen to $1.5543 just ahead of the figures from an overnight three-week high of $1.5629.
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