You may have held out longer than most, Britain, but we knew you'd join the global recession eventually. Welcome onboard! The British economy shrank 1.5 percent in the previous quarter, which, on the heels of the 0.6 percent shrinkage in the third quarter, means the United Kingdom is officially in recession. It was the fastest rate of shrinkage for the British economy in 30 years. Stocks, meanwhile, plunged worldwide. Europe's Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index fell to its lowest level in five years.