Britain's recession-hit economy shrank by less than thought in the second quarter compared with output in the first three months of the year, official data showed on Thursday. "UK gross domestic product (GDP) in volume terms decreased by 0.4 percent between the first and second quarter of 2012, revised from a previously estimated decline of 0.5 percent," the Office for National Statistics said. The slightly improved revision matched analysts' consensus forecast. GDP shrank by 0.5 percent in the April-June period compared with the second quarter in 2011, the ONS added in a statement. Many analysts expect Britain to have emerged from recession in the third quarter, or three months to September 30. Markets will have to wait until next month for confirmation. "The economy should rebound in the third quarter," said Vicky Redwood, chief UK economist at Capital Economics research group. "But we still expect the underlying performance of the economy to remain weak and GDP may even contract again in the fourth quarter," she said in response to the latest data.