By Daniel Hunter

Data released today (Thursday) by the Office for National Statistics shows that the UK service sector grew 0.2% in January compared with December.

This figure will form the first major component of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) figures, set to be released next month.

With the fourth quarter figure from 2011 revised down this week, it will be hoped next week's figure will show positive growth. Analysts believe it will, and in doing so avoid a fresh recession.

The revision was due to the service sector having been less strong than previously thought.

The UK has been alternating between quarters of growth and contraction since the middle of 2010.

Join us on
Follow @freshbusiness