LONDON, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Research and development (R&D) expenditure in Britain increased by 4.8 percent in 2017 from the previous year, according to figures released on Thursday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
This figure was higher than the long-term annual average increase of 4.1 percent registered since 1990.
R&D expenditure grew by 1.6 billion British pounds (2.12 billion U.S. dollars) to 34.8 billion British pounds in 2017, representing 1.69 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), up from 1.67 percent in 2016. The European Union average was around 2.07 percent.
According to the survey, Britain ranks 11th in the EU in terms of R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP.
The UK's business sector was responsible for the largest part of R&D spending at 18.7 billion British pounds, accounting for 54 percent of the total. (1 British pound = 1.33 U.S. dollars)