Mar 31, 5:56 AM EDT

UK economy grew by 2.8 percent last year _ more strongly than previously thought

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LONDON (AP) -- Britain's national statistics agency says the economy grew faster than previously thought last year.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that the country's gross domestic product expanded 2.8 percent, compared with the previous estimate of 2.6 percent.

Growth in the fourth quarter was 0.6 percent, up from a previous estimate of 0.5 percent

The figures confirm that Britain's economy is one of the fastest-growing among developed nations. The Conservative-led government was quick to claim the credit Tuesday as it gears up for the general election on May 7.

Ben Brettell, senior economist at Hargreaves Lansdown, says this is "the latest in a long list of good news stories about the U.K. economy, which is sure to be a key battleground in the upcoming election."

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