Service sector firms reported a slide in new work in December amid budget constraints and a lack of confidence, which was the second back-to-back decrease in new work since mid 2009.
Bad weather was also thought to have been a factor behind the overall contraction in the services sector as Britain was hit by persistent rain.
Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said the service sector blow "raises the likelihood that the UK economy is sliding back into recession".
The UK would have to suffer two consecutive quarters in a row of declining output to be officially declared back in recession.
More top news
Abigail Wyatt is charged with causing a public nuisance in connection with the closure of a bridge on the M5 that caused massive tailbacks.
The actress says Depp's decision to pay the charities directly meant he must donate £10 million to her chosen charities.
The judge who handed Oscar Pistorius a six-year murder sentence said the attempt by state prosecutors had no reasonable chance of success.