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UK GDP growth revised upwards

The UK economy grew more strongly than previously thought this year, according to revisions to official figures.

Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.5% in the first quarter of 2013, up from a previous estimate of 0.4%, and by 0.8% in the second quarter, up from 0.7%, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The figure of 0.8% for the third quarter remains unchanged but the revisions mean GDP is closer to its pre-recession peak than previously thought.

Britain is 2% off its pre-crisis level at the start of 2008, rather than 2.5% as previously thought, adding to hopes that the end of the prolonged economic downturn is close at hand.

The revisions also showed that 2012 growth was 0.3%, revised up from 0.1%.

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