Britain's economy grew faster in 2003than previously thought, new figures show.

The Office for National Statistics upgraded its full-year growth figures to 2.3%, up from a previous estimate of 2.1%. The government body recorded an unchanged 0.9% expansion for the fourth quarter, but said its earlier data had underestimated household spending and exports of services over the first nine months of the year.

The new figures show there has been no slowdown in consumer expenditure, with personal consumption up 1.1% in Q4 alone. Manufacturing stayed flat across the year, but production increased 0.2% in the final three months.

In light of the unexpected revision to 2003 growth, many analysts increased their forecasts for the year ahead. Some now believe the economy will expand by over 3% in 2004.

Data sourced from: Times Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff