UK economy grew faster than anticipated in 2014

1st April 2015

The national economy expanded at a quicker pace than initially predicted last year, according to newly revised official figures.

The economy grew by 0.6 per cent in Q4 2014, up from the previous estimate of 0.5 per cent, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed.

This unexpected increase resulted in annual growth of 2.8 per cent; higher than the initial estimate of 2.6 per cent.
It is the fastest rate of annual growth since 2006, when the economy expanded by three per cent. A combination of production and services expansion, combined with increased household spending, helped to drive the increase.

The ONS has attributed the biggest contribution to the revised economic growth figure to the strong performance of UK exports.

The revised figure was published alongside additional data which demonstrated the UK’s current account deficit – the difference between the income paid to, and received from, the rest of the world – narrowed in Q4 2014.

The account deficit in the three months to December 2014 was £25.3bn, down from a record high of £27.7bn in Q3 2014.
However, for the year as a whole, the deficit widened to 5.5 per cent of GDP – the largest since post-war records began in 1948.

In a separate survey from researchers, GfK, UK consumer confidence grew to its highest level in more than 12 years in March.

Robert Peston, economics editor, BBC, said: “The UK’s economic performance, in the round and as it touches people, is definitely improving – and looks good compared with competitor nations, especially those across the Channel.

“GDP or national income per capita is 4.8 per cent above where it was at the election – although it is still 1.2 per cent below its peak at the start of 2008, before the Great Recession and financial crisis.”

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