CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-UK economy suffers record 9.9% slump in 2020

(Corrects quarterly data)

LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Britain’s coronavirus-ravaged economy shrank 9.9% in 2020, the biggest annual fall in output since modern records began, but avoided heading back towards recession in the final quarter of the year, official figures showed on Friday.

Britain’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 1.0% between October and December versus the previous quarter, the Office for National Statistics said, compared with forecasts in a Reuters poll of economists for growth of 0.5%.

This makes it unlikely that Britain will see two straight quarters of contraction - the standard definition of recession in Europe - even though the economy is set to shrink sharply in early 2021 due to the effects of a third COVID lockdown. (Reporting by David Milliken and Willian Schomberg; editing Guy Faulconbridge)