Britain Stumbles To 1.8% Growth In 2005

The British economy grew by only 1.8% last year, the slowest pace since 1992, official figures revealed on Jan. 25. The data was published on the day that China's economy was elevated to the world's fourth biggest, overtaking that of France and Britain.

British gross domestic product (GDP) growth however improved during the fourth quarter of 2005 compared with performance in the previous three-month period, official initial estimates from the National Statistics office showed.

Growth during 2005 represented the smallest annual increase since 1992, when it grew by only 0.3%. However it still compared favorably with the eurozone economy, which has gradually been picking up speed over the last year. The European Commission has estimated that eurozone growth hit 1.3% in 2005 and is set to reach 1.9% in 2006 as domestic demand strengthens.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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