London: The recession-hit UK economy shrank 0.2 per cent in the third quarter, much less than projected, primarily on the back of improved construction activities.
The economy was anticipated to contract 0.3 per cent in the three months ended September.
"Gross domestic product contracted by 0.2 per cent in the third quarter of 2009. This has been revised from a fall of 0.3 per cent in the previous estimate of GDP, due to upward revisions to construction...," the UK Office for National Statistics said in a statement today.
Ravaged by the global financial meltdown, the country has been grappling with a sliding economy and high unemployment levels. The UK has been in recession -- generally defined as two straight quarters of negative economic growth -- for the past many quarters.
On the other hand, many of Britain`s European neighbours including France and Germany have climbed out of recession.
The statement noted that construction output in the third quarter rose by 1.9 per cent over the previous three months. In the earlier estimate, the same was expected to slump 1.9 per cent in the September quarter.
However, the improvement in construction activities were offset by a decrease in output from production industries.
Yesterday, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) had said that British economy is anticipated to exit recession in the fourth quarter of 2009 while warning of a fragile recovery and increased job losses.