Siobhan Mail, Director at Newport-based Seer Green financial planning specialists, said: “After a strong performance in the third quarter, primarily from the Olympic effect some contraction was always expected. The impact of this has meant GDP in 2012 as a whole was flat.

“Our view is that underlying output looks as though it is just stagnating and the economy remains fragile. This is arguably not a true “triple-dip” recession yet, but another contraction in Q1 is quite possible especially given the snow disruption.

“The fact that the economy continues to contract more than three years after the recession suggests to us that the current policy stance isn’t working and more action needs to be taken.”

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