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The British economy picked up speed at the start of the year, according to the latest estimates from respected think-tank the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

UK GDP expanded by 0.7 per cent in the three months to the end of January, up from a 0.6 per cent pace in the previous quarter, Niesr estimates show – providing a useful gauge of Britain’s official growth statistics.

Consumer spending and robust industrial production were behind the pick up, said the think-tank, on the same day that official figures showed UK factories enjoyed their best annual pace of growth since 2011.

Growth in the British economy has held up in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, holding steady at a 0.6 per cent quarterly pace in the two quarters after the referendum.

The Bank of England has revised up its 2017 growth forecast from 1.4 per cent to 2 per cent this year, but Niesr expects GDP will grow by a more subdued 1.7 per cent this year as rising inflation begins to pinch household spending.

Read more: Reasons to be cheerful about the British economy

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