UK economy's Q4 growth more than expected

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Britain's coronavirus-hammered economy grew more quickly than previously thought in the final three months of 2020, official data shows.

Gross domestic product increased by 1.3 per cent between October and December last year from the previous three-month period, compared with an earlier estimate of 1.0 per cent growth, the Office for National Statistics said on Wednesday.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected the growth rate to remain at one per cent.

In 2020 as a whole, gross domestic product fell by 9.8 per cent, slightly less sharp than an initial estimate of a 9.9 per cent slump which was the biggest collapse in more than three centuries.

Britain's economy suffered the biggest drop of all countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development except for Argentina and Spain last year, OECD data has shown.

The ONS also said Britain's current account deficit widened to STG26.3 billion ($A47.5 billion) in the fourth quarter, almost double the shortfall in the third quarter, as firms rushed to import goods before the January 1 start to the country's less open trade relationship with the European Union.

But the deficit - a long-standing concern for investors because it leaves Britain reliant on foreign inflows of cash - came in below forecasts of STG33 billion in the Reuters poll.