With Britain officially in recession, how does the country stack up against other major world economies?
Britain: The economy was flat in second quarter, with 0pc growth, and shrank by 0.6pc in the third quarter. Official figures on Friday show it is now in recession after contracted by a bigger-than-expected 1.5pc in the final quarter of 2008. Unemployment stood at 6.1pc at the end of November.
United States: The US economy grew by 0.7pc in the second quarter and contracted by 0.1pc in the third quarter. Fourth-quarter numbers are expected to show the economy shrank by 1.2pc. Unemployment stood at 7.2pc in December.
Japan: The Japanese economy shrank by 1pc in the second quarter and by a further 0.5pc in the third quarter. The fourth quarter is forecast to show a 2.75pc decline as the country's export manufacturing industry suffered from the global downturn. Unemployment stood at 3.9pc in November.
China: The Chinese economy grew by 9pc, on an annual basis, in the third quarter and by 6.8pc in the fourth quarter. Forecasts for a 6.8pc rise for the year in 2009 could come under pressure as the markets for China's exports contract. Unemployment stood at 4pc at the end of December.
Germany: The German economy is already in recession, declining by 0.4pc in the second quarter and 0.5pc in the third quarter. Forecasts show it shrank by between 1.5pc and 2pc in the fourth quarter, as like Japan, manufacturing exports were badly hit. Unemployment stood at 7.6pc in December.
France: The French economy shrank by 0.3pc in the second quarter but recovered to rise 0.1pc in the third quarter. Economists estimate it shrank by 1pc in the final quarter. Unemployment stood at 7.3pc at the end of the third quarter in September.
All figures except Britain from BNP Paribas and Bloomberg.[amy wilson]