UK economy grew by 1.9% in 2013, says ONS (Office National Statistics).
By PRW Staff.
The UK economy grew by 1.9% in 2013 compared with the previous year, according to new data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The new GDP growth figures are the best since 2007, a year before the financial crisis that threw the UK economy and many others off track.
The fourth quarter saw the economy’s grow by 0.7%, driven largely by an increase in the services sector.
The ONS said the economy saw “widespread growth” in the last three months of 2013, with increases in agriculture (up 0.5%), production (0.7%) and services (0.8%),
The only fly in the quarter’s ointment was construction, which saw a 0.3% decline.
The fourth quarter last year saw GDP 2.8% higher than the same period in 2012.
Responding to the numbers John Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said the growth figures "confirm what we've been hearing for some time.
"Businesses across Britain are growing ever more bullish about their prospects. Many companies are accelerating their pace for the first time in years, with others saying they're set to do the same.
"Our surveys now consistently show business confidence levels not seen for decades.
“It is of course heartening that Britain is now amongst the fastest-growing advanced economies. But more must be done to shore up the foundations of this recovery if it is to be a lasting one."
Longworth warned that "unless we do much better on the three 'T's – training, transport infrastructure and trade support – our aspirations for investment at home and success around the globe cannot be achieved".
Colin Edwards, senior economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), commented: “After staring down the barrel of a triple-dip recession at the beginning of the year, the UK economy has posted its strongest annual growth since the financial crisis.
“We shouldn’t get too carried away – sustaining this growth in the longer term is likely to require a rebalancing which has thus far proved remarkably elusive.
“But it is surely easier to worry about the shape of recovery from a position of 1.9% growth than from the depths of a triple-dip recession.”
The CEBR said the UK economy was in a "sweet spot" and it could foresee growth in 2014 of 3%.
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