http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17836624 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17836624 The UK economy has returned to recession, after shrinking by 0.2% in the first three months of 2012. A sharp fall in construction output was behind the surprise contraction, the Office for National Statistics said. A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction. The economy shrank by 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2011. BBC economics editor Stephanie Flanders says it "adds to the picture that the economy is bumping along the bottom". She said economic output was slightly smaller now than it was in the autumn of 2010.