Britain's economy expanded by 0.1 percent in February, fuelling modest recovery hopes after sinking into recession in the second half of last year, official data showed Friday.

The gross domestic product uptick followed an upwardly-revised 0.3 percent rise in January, after an initial reading of 0.2 percent growth, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.

Growth for the first quarter as a whole would signal the end of the UK's recession.

"The economy grew slightly in February with widespread growth across manufacturing, particularly in the car sector," said ONS director of economic statistics Liz McKeown.

"Services also grew a little with public transport and haulage, and telecommunications having strong months," she added.

"Partially offsetting this there were notable falls across construction as the wet weather hampered many building projects."

The UK economy shrank in both the third and fourth quarters of 2023, meeting the technical definition of a recession on the back of elevated inflation and high interest rates.

News of emergence from recession would hand a major boost to embattled Prime Minister Rishi Sunak ahead of a general election this year.

His governing Conservatives are trailing far behind Keir Starmer's main opposition Labour Party in opinion polls.