UK Economy On Overdrive

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The UK’s economy grew at a faster pace than initially estimated last year, revised official figures show.

The economy grew by 0.6% in the final three months of 2014, up from the previous estimate of 0.5%, the Office for National Statistics said.
The unexpected increase meant growth for the year was 2.8%, higher than the earlier estimate of 2.6%.

The revised rate marks the highest pace of annual growth since 2006, when the economy grew by 3%.

An expansion in both production and services as well as household spending helped to drive the increase, the official data suggested.
But the biggest contribution to the revised figure was a strong performance of exports, the ONS said.

Separately, UK consumer confidence rose to its highest level in more than 12 years in March, a survey from researchers GfK showed.
Overall, economists suggested the figures boded well for the UK economy this year.

“Given the outlook for consumer spending, the Office for Budgetary Responsibility’s forecast of 2.5% for 2015 looks a touch pessimistic, and could come under some upward pressure in the coming months,” said Ben Brettell, senior economist at Hargreaves Lansdown.

Martin Beck, senior economic advisor to the Ernst & Young economic forecaster ITEM Club, said he remained confident about its prediction that GDP would expand by close to 3% in 2015.

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