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UK growth revised higher at end of 2014, boosted by exports
[LONDON] Britain's economy expanded at a faster pace than previously estimated at the end of last year, boosted by a strong performance of exports, official data showed on Tuesday.
Gross domestic product between October and December grew by a quarterly 0.6 per cent, the Office for National Statistics said, compared with 0.5 per cent in a previous reading and matching the pace of growth in the third quarter.
For 2014 as a whole, the economy grew 2.8 per cent, revised up from a previous estimate of 2.6 per cent and the biggest expansion since 2006.
With five weeks until a closely-fought national election, the figures be welcome reading for Britain's ruling Conservative government.
Real household disposable income increased 2.3 per cent compared with a year ago, the fastest rate of annual growth since the start of 2010.
Britain's current account deficit narrowed as a per centage of the economy in the fourth quarter after matching its highest level on record in the previous three months.
But for 2014 as a whole, the shortfall widened to 5.5 per cent of GDP, the largest deficit since records began in 1948.
The ONS said the biggest contribution to growth in the fourth quarter came from Britain's long-suffering trade performance which added 0.9 per centage points to quarterly growth in the period - a sharp swing from the 0.5 per centage point drag in the third quarter.
Household spending, which has been the main driver of Britain's economic recovery, added 0.4 per centage points to growth in the quarter, slowing slightly.
British consumer morale rose to its highest level in more than 12 years this month, a survey from researchers GfK showed earlier on Tuesday.