Recession gloom on building blow

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The Independent Online

The British economy is even deeper in recession than first thought thanks to official figures showing that the construction industry suffered a lousy March.

Yesterday's figures from the Office for National Statistics underline the feeble state of the economy and will intensify pressure on the Bank of England to restart its monetary stimulus programme, which it kept on hold this week.

The statistics agency reported the building sector fell 4.8 per cent over the first three months of the year, worse than the 3 per cent drop it estimated last month.

The downward revision means the overall economy is now judged to have contracted by 0.3 per cent over the first three months, rather than 0.2 per cent.