British annual growth downgraded to 1.7%

A construction worker works at the new development of the Tate Modern site in London on October 25, 2013

Britain's economy expanded by 1.7 percent last year, down slightly from a previous estimate, but was still the strongest growth since before the financial crisis, official data showed on Friday.

Gross domestic product for 2013 was down from a previous estimate of 1.8 percent, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.

GDP grew by an unrevised 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared with activity in the previous three month period, the ONS added.

Britain's economy is meanwhile predicted to grow faster than expected in the run-up to next year's general election, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said last week in a vote-chasing budget.

Osborne raised his 2014 and 2015 economic growth forecasts and cut his borrowing targets, but vowed to maintain austerity.

Osborne warned the recovery would be jeopardised if the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition pulled away from deep spending cuts, which are aimed at eliminating the huge deficit inherited from the opposition Labour party in 2010.

GDP was set to grow 2.7 percent in 2014, up from the previous forecast for expansion of 2.4 percent, said Osborne.

The economy was then predicted to expand by 2.3 percent in 2015, upgraded from the previous growth estimate of 2.2 percent.

The chancellor had added that Britain's economy was growing faster than the economies in Germany, Japan, and the United States.