The UK economy grew by 1.8% in 2013, acccording to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in a revision downwards from its previous estimate of 1.9%.
The previous estimate, made at the end of January, that the UK's gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 0.7% in the final three months of 2013, was left unchanged. In today's announcement, the ONS revised down the first and the second quarters of last year, accumulatively bringing growth down from 1.9% to 1.8% for 2013.
Meanwhile, Chris Williamson, chief economist at research company Markit, stressed the growth figures were the still strongest on an annual basis since before the crisis of 2008. ‘It was the best year of growth since 2007, when an expansion of 3.4% was recorded,’ he said.
‘The downward revision reflects weaker than previous growth in the first half of the year, which brings the GDP data more into line with survey data, which had presented a less perky start to 2013, leaving a strong picture for the second half of the year, during which the expansion was fuelled by business investment, higher incomes, rising profits, exports and ongoing growth of consumer spending,’ said Williamson.
On 12 February, Bank of England governor Mark Carney made a bullish forecast for the UK economy in 2014, predicting it to grow by 3.4% during the course of this year, significantly higher than the previous estimate of 2.8%.
The fourth quarter 2013 figure of 0.7% growth in the UK is better than the 0.3% in the eurozone, but worse than the 0.8% growth in the United States.