Exports help economy grow at fastest rate since 2006
The economy grew at its fastest pace since 2006 last year according to revised official figures that showed growing exports helped boost performance in the final quarter.
But figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the annual current account deficit widening to a record level while separate monthly data revealed a slowdown in the UK's dominant services sector in January.
One economist predicted that a sluggish start to 2015 could herald a disappointing set of growth figures for the first quarter, due to be published a week ahead of the general election.
Yesterday's data showed GDP rose by 2.8% in 2014, up from a previous estimate of 2.6% and accelerating from the rate of 1.7% the year before.
It confirmed the UK as the fastest growing of the G7 major advanced economies.
Annual growth was last stronger in 2006 when it was 3%. GDP grew by 0.6% in the final quarter of 2014.