The UK emerged from recession in the final three months of 2009, with a growth in GDP of 0.3% for the quarter.
It has been the longest recession in the UK since the 1950s, and the deepest since the 1930s in terms of the fall in GDP.
The recovery has also been slower than many economists expected. The UK was the last of the major economies to exit recession.
The government has sought to credit its temporary stimulus measures, such as the cut in VAT and the car scrappage scheme, with helping end the recession.
But the significance of their impact is not clear, and the weakness of the recovery overall remains a concern.
The strength of the economic recovery from now on is also debated.
The latest forecasts from the chancellor of 1.25% growth this year are broadly in line with most other forecasts.
Even City forecasters working for major banks are, on average, more optimistic about growth in 2010.
But looking forward to 2011, Alistair Darling's forecast in the Budget of between 3% and 3.5% growth is still more optimistic than other predictions, even if it is in line with the Bank of England's view