London - The British economy is heading for shrinkage of 0.1 percent in 2012 and would grow by less than expected in coming years, official government figures showed on Wednesday.

The revised 2012 forecast, issued by the coalition's fiscal watchdog, compared with a prior growth estimate of 0.8 percent that was given by the government in March.

The Office for Budget Responsibility watchdog said on Wednesday that British gross domestic product (GDP) was forecast to grow by 1.2 percent in 2013, by 2.0 percent in 2014 and by 2.3 percent in 2015.

Previous guidance had been for expansion of 2.0 percent in 2013, 2.7 percent in 2014 and 3.0 percent in 2015.

Britain sank into the first phase of a double-dip recession in 2008 as a result of the devastating global financial crisis that sparked a number of vast bailouts of banks.

The economy rebounded in late 2009 but struggled to stage a convincing recovery and fell back into a second downturn in late 2011, which lasted for three quarters.

Recent official data showed Britain had escaped from its double-dip recession in the third quarter of 2012, with its economy growing 1.0 percent.

However this was due to one-off factors such as the London Olympics and rebounding activity after public holidays in the second quarter of the year. - Sapa-AFP