It's a Christmas miracle: UK's annual GDP growth hits 1.9pc

Some Christmas cheer from our statisticians.

The UK's economy grew by 1.9 per cent in the year to the third quarter, smashing analyst estimates of 1.5 per cent growth. Not one of the 31 economists polled by Reuters expected growth that high.

Economic activity as measured by GDP is now just two per cent below its pre-crisis peak, down from 2.5 per cent.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) business investment grew by two per cent in the third quarter, following a 1.4 per cent increase in the second.

But GDP growth for the same period is no higher. The ONS estimates that the UK's economy grew by 0.8 per cent in the third quarter of 2013.