According to the Office of National Statistics official data, the economy grew by just 0.1% in the last three months of 2009, compared to the previous quarter. This is weaker than the average forecast of 0.4% expansion, but brings to an end six consecutive quarters of contraction.
The UK recession began in the second quarter of 2008. During the 18 months of recession, public borrowing increased to an estimated £178bn, while output slumped by 6%.
The news should bring comfort to UK marketers following nine consecutive quarters of declining marketing spend over the recession period.
According to the latest IPA/BDO Bellwether report, marketing budgets for 2010 have been set higher than 2009 and companies are the most optimistic they have been in the past five years with 35% of businesses surveyed seeing improved prospects.