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UK first quarter economic growth was greater than estimated


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LONDON (AP) -- Britain's economy grew faster than previously estimated in the first quarter of 2015, thanks to a rise in construction output.

The Office of National Statistics says gross domestic product by 0.4 percent in the January-March period, better than a previous estimate of 0.3 percent. The agency also says that the economy grew by 3 percent in 2014, up from earlier estimates of 2.8 percent.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, says the upward revision will heap pressure on Bank of England policymakers to consider hiking interest rates - particularly as there is now evidence of rising incomes and pressure on pay.

But he says such a rate rise still looks a long way off - particularly with heightened uncertainty that Greece might leave the European Union.

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