A senior economist has warned the UK is on the brink of a recession as soaring inflation and stagnating growth create a "worst of all worlds" scenario.
New data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Thursday showed that gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 0.1% in March.
The UK economy grew by 0.8% in the first quarter of 2022.
It comes the week after the Bank of England (BoE) raised interest rates to 1% in an attempt to bring down inflation after the consumer price index (CPI) hit 7%, the highest in three decades.
In a bleak forecast, the Bank warned that the UK could enter a recession by the end of the year.
They also said they expect inflation to surpass 10%, with the rising cost of energy driving up prices.
Responding to the growth figures Miatta Fahnbulleh, CEO at the New Economics Foundation (NEF), warned the country was on the "cusp of recession".
"UK GDP only increased by an estimated 0.8% in Q1," Fahnbulleh tweeted on Thursday.
"And this is before the impacts of increased interest rates and soaring energy bills have fed through.
"We are now on the cusp of recession — spiralling prices and a stuttering economy. The worst of all worlds."
A recession is two consecutive quarters (six months) of negative economic growth.
Fahnbulleh urged the government to announce more financial support amid the gloomy fiscal outlook.
"The government should introduce a package of measures to increase benefits and wages to help people make ends meet, which would also give a boost to our ailing economy. It's a win-win," she said.
Labour criticised the government on Thursday, claiming ministers are "out of ideas" - and renewed calls for an emergency budget.
“That the chancellor ignored serious warnings undermines any claim he couldn’t have done more to protect the British economy from soaring inflation," said shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves.
“The government's Queen's Speech this week was out of ideas and out of touch, devoid of any real economic plan for growth or to tackle the cost of living crisis.
“Anything less than coming back urgently with an emergency budget to help ease the pressure from the cost of living crisis is a failure by this Conservative government.”
The government has caused frustration with mixed messaging on whether more financial support will be announced to help with the cost of living.
On Tuesday, Boris Johnson implied extra help was coming in days, but was swiftly rebuffed by the Treasury who said no announcements were imminent.
Two days later, the prime minister said help would be coming in July, but failed to specify what it would look like.
Despite the economy shrinking in March, Rishi Sunak struck an optimistic tone on Thursday claiming "the UK economy is continuing to grow".
"The UK economy recovered quickly from the worst of the pandemic and our growth in the first few months of the year was strong, faster than the US, Germany and Italy, but I know these are still anxious times," he said.
“Our recovery is being disrupted by Putin’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine and other global challenges but we are continuing to help people where we can.
“Growth is the best way to help families in the longer-term so as well as easing immediate pressures on households and businesses, we are investing in capital, people and ideas to boost living standards in the future.”
The new growth figures come after the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) announced in March that living standards are set to fall by the steepest on record.
Watch: UK growth slows to weakest for a year as recession fears grow