LONDON, March 28 (Xinhua) -- British gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 1.7 percent in 2013, compared with 2012, down 0.1 percentage points from previous estimate, announced Office for National Statistics (ONS) Friday.
It is the second time the estimate for GDP growth in 2013 has been cut. The initial estimate was 1.9 percent, which was released in late January.
In volume term, Britain's GDP was estimated to have increased by 0.7 percent between the third quarter of 2013 and the fourth quarter of 2013. When compared with the same quarter of a year before, the growth rate of the fourth quarter was 2.7 percent. Both figures were not revised from previous estimate, said ONS.
And by the end of 2013, the size of Britain's economy remained 1.4 percent below its pre-crisis peak that reached at the beginning of 2008, said the statistics department.
To split the sectors, however, the services industry increased by 0.8 percent in the final three months of 2013 on quarter-over-quarter basis, remained the strongest contributor to the economy. The manufacturing sector grew by 0.5 percent in the same period, while the construction industry contracted by 0.2 percent.
The current account deficit for the year was 71.1 billion pounds (around 120 billion U.S. dollars), equivalent to 4.4 percent of the country's GDP, and slightly lower than the highest current deficit of 4.6 percent of GDP recorded in 1989, data also showed.
And with exports increasing by 2.8 percent and imports falling by 0.4 percent, the trade deficit had almost halved between the third and fourth quarters of last year.
"The composition of growth was promising as exports increased at a solid clip, while two of the major components of investments - residual and business - both grew at a robust pace", said Martin Beck, senior economic adviser to the EY ITEM Club, in his analysis piece.
"The outlook for the first quarter (of 2014) is looking bright - service output in January grew at the fastest annual rate since early 2008. Combined with strong retail sales and upbeat survey data, GDP should expand at around 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2014, while we expect growth to come in around 2.7 percent in 2014 as a whole", said Beck.
Samuel Tombs, UK Economist at Capital Economics, also commented:" The economic recovery should become better balanced this year. Accordingly, we think that the current pace of growth can be sustained and export GDP to expect by about 3 percent both this year and next."