The economy of the United Kingdom (U.K) has officially sunk into recession for the first time since 1991. The U.K.'s Office for National Statistics says that gross domestic product shrank by 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, the second consecutive quarter to show a decline; the generally used technical definition of a recession is two straight quarters of negative economic growth. The manufacturing sector showed the sharpest decline of all economic sectors, with a 4.6 percent drop, according to the Times Online of London. Analyst Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight, quoted in multiple news sources, predicts a 2.9 percent contraction in the British economy for 2009 with declines in all four quarters, the sharpest contraction since World War II, and sees a flat economy for 2010 as a slow recovery takes hold.
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