Industry commentators forecast an even gloomier second quarter after the Office for National Statistics revealed the UK slid back into recession in Q1, with negative growth of 0.2%.
Azad Zangana, European economist at Schroders
"The double dip in recession comes as no surprise to us. We have been forecasting another recession since last November when the eurozone crisis intensified. Indeed, we are forecasting a further falls in GDP for the second quarter which will be caused by the extra bank holiday to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee.
"The economy slipping back into recession will come as a blow for the Chancellor. The OBR will now have to revise down its forecast, which will worsen the fiscal numbers further.
"It is too early to call for a reversal of government policy, though these latest results do highlight that the economy will not withstand any further acceleration in cuts. We suspect the Treasury recognises this and is why the Chancellor chose to prolong the cuts into 2016/17, rather than deepening the cuts in the near term."
David Miller, partner at Cheviot Asset Management
"Investors have been looking to the GDP figures coming up this week as their fear is, should numbers be poor, we could be in for a repeat of July and August last year when the markets sold off.
"From corporate results, this does not feel like a recession. Today's numbers could, however, have a negative effect on consumer and business confidence and so be self-fulfilling as we enter the summer months.
"Up until now, fiscal austerity has been balanced by monetary expansion through QE. The MPC's room for manoeuvre has temporarily been curtailed by higher than expected inflation, so investors are on their own for the moment.
"Overall, the next couple of months will be tricky for investors. Central banks around the world have adopted a more hawkish stance at least until mid-year, so we cannot expect help in the form of QE.
"But we must remember that, despite the bad growth figures today, they are nowhere near as bad as those in the eurozone. The UK has benefitted from a weaker pound and control of monetary policy."
John Redwood, chairman of Evercore Pan-Asset's Investment Committee
"It confirms the economy is becalmed at best. It will doubtless lead to more demands from some to raise public spending and borrowing, to provide an additional fiscal stimulus. Readers should look more carefully at the underlying figures before rushing to such a false conclusion.
"In the first quarter of 2012, government spending once again made a positive contribution to total output, contributing 0.2% real growth to the economy. Meanwhile construction, minining and quarrying fell sharply.
"It is interesting to look at the last five years of numbers, to see that over this period the government sector has been used to provide a large boost, but this has not offset the whole decline in total production industries output.
"In that time the government has provided a large stimulus to total output, but the manuafacturing and mining sectors fell dramatically in the credit crunch of 2008-2009 and have recovered very little since.
"The issue we need to address is how to create a faster private sector led recovery. The government has spent massively to offset the impact of the economic decline, which has entailed very large borrowings. Borrowing even more would be counter productive, as the private sector would have to pay the interest on the debt and ultimately repay the loans. The issue is how to get faster growth in the private sector, which is about all the issues on banking, taxation, regulation, transport and energy that we often discuss."
Andy Scott, account manager at currency specialist HiFX
"Sterling was sold off across the board following the GDP figures release this morning as the median expectation of the market was for growth of 0.1%. This could revive the prospect of the Bank of England having to provide more monetary stimulus, most likely through quantitative easing.
"It is a huge disappointment and somewhat surprising given the very positive PMI data which showed increasing activity in the services, construction and manufacturing sectors in the first three months of the year. The slowdown in Europe's economies are clearly hitting the economy here.
"Sterling has performed strongly in the month of April, reaching multi-month highs in part due to the stable picture here with no elections due and austerity measures announced and being implemented. These numbers will potentially limit the upside for sterling now until we see growth return to the UK as the Bank of England could kick start the printing presses again anytime to try and support the economy, weakening the pound as a result."
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