According to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK’s economy grew by 2.6% in 2014.
The annual rise marks the fastest increase since 2007 and is a notable climb from the 1.7% recorded in 2013.
Is an economic slowdown on the horizon?
In the final 3 months of 2014, the economy grew by 0.5% – slightly down from 0.7% growth recorded in the previous 3 months.
ONS data showed that the construction sector shrunk at its worst pace in over 2 years, with output down by 1.8% in Q4 2014. This marks the worst slowdown since Q2 2012.
Economists suggest that it is too early for to predict whether the slowdown is here to stay.
“The dominant services sector remains buoyant while the contraction has taken place in industries like construction, mining and energy supply, which can be erratic,” Joe Grice, ONS’s Chief Economist told the BBC.
Grice added that it is ‘too early to say’ whether the slowdown would continue.
It is thought that the uncertainty surrounding the general election will impact the UK’s economy in the first half of 2015 however, in line with previous election years, the economy should pick up towards the end of 2015.
Figures released today mirror predictions by the International Monetary Fund, which recently downgraded its UK growth predictions for 2014.
Initially the IMF forecasted that the UK’s growth could reach 3.2% in 2014 however this was downgraded to 2.6%.
The IMF predicts that the UK’s economy will grow by 2.7% in 2015.