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The services sector shrank for the first time in two years in December, raising new fears of a 'triple-dip' recession.
Markit's PMI survey found that the services index fell from 50.2 in November to 48.9 in December - any figure below 50 is considered a contraction.
Meanwhile output fell 0.2% in the final quarter of last year.
"The first fall in service sector activity for two years raises the likelihood that the UK economy is sliding back into recession," said Markit's chief economist Chris Williamson.
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