The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said gross domestic product (GDP) fell 0.4 per cent between April and June in the second upward revision.
Its initial estimate of a 0.7 per cent contraction shocked the City in July, but smaller than previously thought falls in the production, manufacturing and construction sectors improved the decline to 0.5 per cent last month and now 0.4 per cent.
Hopes are now mounting of a return to growth in the third quarter, after Bank of England Governor Sir Mervyn King said last week there were “signs of a slow recovery”.
Retail figures from the CBI yesterday also offered some welcome cheer, after revealing a modest sales increase on the high street this month.
Yesterday’s news had been expected by economists after the ONS revised output from the construction sector up from a fall of 3.9 per cent to 3 per cent.
The ONS has also revised up output from the production industry from a drop of 0.9 per cent to 0.7 and manufacturing output from a fall of 0.9 per cent to 0.8.
The drop in household spending is also not as bad as first thought, down by 0.2 per cent against previous estimates of a 0.4 per cent decline.