Britain has finally emerged from its worst post-war downturn after growth of 0.8% in the second quarter of 2014 took the size of the economy above its pre-recession peak.
The performance left the UK's gross domestic product (GDP) 0.2% ahead of its level at the start of 2008, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
It marks the end of a period when GDP slumped to 7.2% below its pre-recession levels by the middle of 2009.
The stuttering recovery did not take flight until last year when growth began to accelerate.
But Britain is now predicted to be the fastest growing major world economy in 2014. Yesterday the International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised its GDP forecast for the fourth time in a row to 3.2%.
Commenting on the figures, Chancellor George Osborne said: "Thanks to the hard work of the British people, today we reach a major milestone in our long-term economic plan."