Economic growth slows to 0.2pc

THE economy grew by 0.2 per cent in the first three months of the year, official figures have shown.

GDP expanded by 0.4 per cent in the final three months of 2009 when the UK lurched out of recession.

The latest figures, from the Office for National Statistics, came in a week which saw unemployment rising to a 16-year high of 2.5m.

The growth was weaker than the 0.4 per cent predicted for the first quarter by many economists.

Gordon Brown said: "The GDP figures make clear the the recovery is definitely under way."

He claimed that the Conservatives' plans to slash public spending would stifle the UK's progress.

But shadow chancellor George Osborne said the jobless figures combined with the limited GDP growth represented, "a set of disappointing economic news."

Meanwhile some analysts said that although the GDP figures may be revised upwards the figures were not convincing.

Nick Parsons of NAB Capital said: "It (the figures) highlights the fragility of the UK economic position. We could slip back into recession, it's not likely but it could happen ... disappointing figures."