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UK economy grows at fastest rate in six years

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The UK economy grew by 0.7% in the final quarter of 2013, according to estimates from the Office for National Statistics, bringing growth for the year to 1.9%.

The ONS said this was the UK’s fastest annual rate of growth since 2007.

The vast majority of growth came from the services sector where output increased by 0.8%.

This latest increase followed growth of 0.8% in the third quarter of 2013.

Overall, GDP was 2.8% higher in the fourth quarter 2013 compared with the same quarter the previous year. GDP is estimated to have increased by 1.9% between 2012 and 2013.

Last week, the ONS confirmed that the UK unemployment rate dropped to 7.1% in the three months to November 2013.

Jeremy Cook, chief economist at the currency exchange company, World First, said: “It’s worth pointing out that these are provisional figures and therefore subject to revision. We could easily see the strong retail sales figure for December moved lower or November’s poor construction release upgraded.

“Nevertheless, this number, coupled with the drop in unemployment last week, means that the UK is starting 2014 in very good shape indeed. There’s a very different feeling about the state of affairs this January, when compared with the same time last year.”


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