Britain's economy grew by less than thought last year, but still showed the fastest annual growth since before the financial crisis, revised official data showed today.

The UK's gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 1.8% in 2013, down from the previous growth figure of 1.9%, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement giving its latest estimates.

That nevertheless marked the biggest annual expansion since 2007.

The UK economy grew by 0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared with the previous three months, aided by strong trade and business investment.

The quarterly rate was unchanged from the previous reading.

"It's encouraging that business investment grew strongly in the fourth quarter," a Treasury spokesman said.

"The government's long term economic plan is working, but as the Chancellor said last week the recovery is not yet secure. The budget next month will do more to support investment and exports, and the biggest risk to the recovery would be abandoning the plan that's providing economic security for hardworking people," he added.

British finance minister George Osborne will present the coalition government's 2014 budget on March 19.

The Bank of England had forecast earlier this month that the economy will grow by 3.4% in 2014, as the recovery picks up speed, boosted by rising business investment and home construction.