According to first estimates from Britain's Office for National Statistics , an 0.1 per cent expansion in the economy between October and December ended six straight quarters of shrinking output. That is well down on predictions by experts, who had forecast growth of 0.4 per cent. Overall, the economy slumped 4.8 per cent last year, the biggest annual contraction since records began in 1949, and it has lost 6 per cent since the recession began in 2008. It means the UK is the last of the major G7 economies to leave recession.