The UK economy grew at a faster rate in the first three months of the year, reaching 0.7% growth in the first quarter, according to the business lobby group Confederation of British Industry (CBI.)

The group said growth would likely pick up further in the current quarter, in its latest survey, which includes more than 750 firms across a range of sectors in the UK economy.

The economy expanded at a rate of 0.6% in the final three months of 2014 according to data released last week. A fall in services output in January had raised expectations that overall economic growth may actually slow in the first quarter of this year.

The CBI warned that the strength of sterling was already hurting British exporters and that the companies would have to cope with relatively a strong pound in the medium term.

The biggest risks to Britain's economic growth prospects were concerns over Greece's ability to secure bailout assistance and its impact on the eurozone.

Greece is running out of cash fast and has been denied access to new financial assistance until it provides a list of economic reform measures to satisfy its creditors. So far, Athens has failed to convince fellow eurozone members that it would make the changes to its economy deemed necessary to ensure it does not need financial assistance to sustain itself.

Despite the risk posed by the risks posed by Greece, the CBI was upbeat over the prospects for the UK economy this year. Low oil prices should filter through to households and businesses this year and reduce costs, according to the group's deputy director general Katja Hall.

"The outlook for 2015 looks encouraging," she said, as quoted by the BBC. "Our surveys show it's been a solid start to the year with the prospect of stronger growth to come."

"The benefits of lower oil prices should be increasingly felt; with cheaper petrol boosting households' incomes and spending power, and cutting costs for many businesses," she said.

The first official estimate of the size of economic growth in the first quarter is due to be announced on April 24, little more than a week ahead of the country's election.