Britain's double-dip recession is not as deep as previously feared after revised figures showed a smaller contraction in the second quarter of the year.

Gross domestic product (GDP) a broad measure of the economy fell 0.5% between April and June in the Office for National Statistics' second estimate, which is better than the initial 0.7% drop that shocked the City last month.

But despite the upward revision, it still represents the biggest quarter-on-quarter fall for more than three years. It means the economy remains mired in the longest double-dip recession since the 1950s.

Smaller than previously thought falls in the production and construction sectors drove the figure higher, while the powerhouse services sector was unrevised, with a 0.1% fall.

Figures released today showed the UK's trade deficit increased to 7.3 billion, up from 3.7 billion in the previous quarter as the eurozone debt crisis hit exports its biggest fall since the third quarter of 2010, which wiped 1% off the GDP figure.

Business investment also fell for the first time for more than a year.

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