Economy of the United Kingdom

Economy of the United Kingdom

Infobox Economy
country = United Kingdom
currency = British Pound (GBP)
year = 6 April - 5 April
organs = EU, BCN, OECD and WTO
rank = 5th
gdp = $2.772 trillion (2007 est.)
growth = 0% (Q2 2008)cite news|url=|title=UK economy comes to a standstill|date=2008-08-22|publisher=BBC News|accessdate=2008-08-22]
per capita = $45,575 (2007 est. nom.) (12th)
sectors = agriculture (1%), industry (26%), services (73%)
inflation = 4.4% (2008 est.) [ [ UK Inflation hits 4.4%] ]
poverty = 14% (2006 est.)
labor = 31 million (includes unemployed) (2007 est.)
occupations = Services (81%), industry (18%) and agriculture (1%) (excludes unemployed) (2007)
unemployment = 5.4% (2007)
industries = machine tools, industrial equipment, scientific equipment, shipbuilding, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, electronic machinery, computers, processed metals, chemical products, coal mining, oil production, paper, food processing, textiles, clothing and other consumer goods.
exports = $470 billion (2007 est.)
export-partners = USA 15%, Germany 11%, France 10%, Ireland 7%, Netherlands 6%, Belgium 6%, Spain 5%, Italy 4% (2007)
imports = $600 billion (2007 est.)
import-partners = Germany 14%, USA 9%, France 8%, Netherlands 7%, Belgium 6%, Italy 5%, The People's Republic of China 4%, Ireland 4%
debt = $864 billion (2007)
revenue = $0.97 trillion (2007)
expenses = $1.04 trillion (2007)
aid = $8 billion
cianame = uk
spelling = UK
The economy of the United Kingdom is the fifth largest in the world in terms of market exchange rates and the sixth largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). It is the second largest economy in Europe after Germany's. Its GDP PPP per capita in 2007 is the 22nd highest in the world.

The United Kingdom is one of the world's most globalised countries. The capital, London (see Economy of London), is the major financial centre of the world, in front of New York City, Hong Kong and Singapore according to a report compiled by the City of London. [ The Global Financial Centres Index 2] ]

The British economy is made up (in descending order of size) of the economies of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The UK became a member state of the European Community, in 1973, and ratified the Maastricht Treaty making it a European Union state, at the inception of the EU in 1993.

In the 1980s, under the Government of Margaret Thatcher, most state-owned enterprises in the industrial and service sectors, which since the 1940s had been nationalised, were privatised. The British Government now owns very few industries or businesses - Royal Mail is one example.

For several decades after World War II, the British economy recorded chronic weak growth and was sometimes referred to as the "sick man of Europe". However, in recent years Britain has seen the longest period of sustained economic growth for more than 150 years, having grown in every quarter since 1992. It is one of the strongest EU economies in terms of inflation, interest rates and unemployment, all of which remain relatively low. The United Kingdom, according to the International Monetary Fund, in 2007 had the ninth highest level of GDP per capita in the European Union in terms of purchasing power parity, after Luxembourg, Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium and Finland. However, in common with the economies of other English-speaking countries, it has higher levels of income inequality than many European countries.

During August 2008 the IMF has warned that the UK economic outlook has worsened due to a twin shock: financial turmoil as well as rising commoditity prices. [ [ Twin Global Shocks Dent United Kingdom Outlook] , IMF, August 11, 2008.] Both developments harm the UK more than most developed countries, as the UK obtains revenue from exporting financial services while recording deficits in finished goods and commodities, including food.

The UK has the world's third largest current account deficit, despite significant oil revenues. This is mainly the result of a large deficit in the trade in manufacture goods. During May 2008, the IMF advised the UK government to broaden the scope of fiscal policy to promote external balance. [ [ United Kingdom - 2008 Article IV ConsultationConcluding Statement of the Mission] , IMF, May 23, 2008.]

Although the UK's "labour productivity per person employed" has been progressing well over the last two decades and has overtaken productivity in the united Germany, it lags around 20% behind France's level, where workers have a 35-hour working week. [ [,39140985&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL&screen=detailref&language=en&product=STRIND_ECOBAC&root=STRIND_ECOBAC/ecobac/eb021] - Labour productivity per person employed] The UK's "labour productivity per hour worked" is currently on a par with the average for the "old" EU (15 countries). [ [,39140985&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL&screen=detailref&language=en&product=STRIND_ECOBAC&root=STRIND_ECOBAC/ecobac/eb022] - Labour productivity per hour worked]

The United Kingdom currently ranks 16th on the Human Development Index.

Macroeconomic trend

This is a chart of trend of gross domestic product of United Kingdom at market prices [ estimated] by the International Monetary Fund with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling. : Source: OANDA.COM [ Historical Currency Converter] : For consistency and comparison purposes, coefficient of variation is measured on both the "per pound" ratios, although it is conventional to show the forex rates as dollars per pound and pounds per euro.

Regional variation

The strength of the UK economy varies from region to region. GVA, and GVA per capita is highest in London. The following table shows the GVA (2006) per capita of the 12 NUTS:2 areas, with data supplied by the Office for National Statistics [ [ Microsoft Word - gva1207.doc ] ] .


In 2007 UK exports were valued at £220bn. [ [ Exports and imports of goods and services] ]
*Food and drink exports were valued at £9.7bn (2005) [ [ UK export figures boosted 10% by VAT carousel fraud; Ireland part of multi-billion white-collar criminal network] ]
*UK total arms exports were valued at £7.1bn (2005) [ [ Total UK Arms Exports] ]

UK export figures are boosted 10% by high levels of Missing trader fraud according to the Office for National Statistics. [ [ UK export figures boosted 10% by VAT carousel fraud; Ireland part of multi-billion white-collar criminal network ] ]


In 2002 the percentage of population below the 'Poverty Line' (Household income below 60 per cent of median income) stood at 17%. This has fallen steadily over recent years to a low of 14% in 2006. the last year for which figures are available.

Other statistics

Average total income of British people claiming Indian descent is higher than that of any other ethnic group in the UK at £30,211 (roughly $60,000, as of 9/08) per annum as opposed to a fairly contemporary national average of $35,100 (2007 est.) [] . One of the several possible theories for these relatively high comparative earnings among British Indians is that [ one in 20 Hindu British Indian men] in the UK are doctors compared to 1 in 200 of 'indigenous' - ie: non-Hindu and non-Indian, presumably though by no-means necessarily 'white British'. [] According to some demographic studies based on race and/or religion, Hindus (along with Jews and Buddhists) are more likely to be found in traditional 'professions' ( [ managerial or professional occupations] ), though [ Jews] are the most likely to be self-employed. Naturally, though, it is always important to bear in mind that the anecdotal conclusions to which these types of surveys lend themselves are often quite misleading.

Notable British Indians or Indian nationals resident in Britain include putatively the "UK's richest man", Lakshmi Mittal, whose inclusion alone massages the percentage figure for wealth generation according to race or national origin significantly, and might distort any meaningful comparison of earning distribution studies based on potential race/religion/immigration deviations as a consequence - to the point where such interpretations become questionable. Figures do indicate, though, that the [ unemployment rate] for British Indian men (at 7 per cent) is almost identical to the figure for the indigenous population, though studies show that the white (indigenous) British population, in general, have a much [ lower unemployment rate] than non-white and/or immigrant ethnic groups for a wide variety of reasons.

Statistically, British males of Pakistani descent are the least economically affluent with the male unemployment rate running at between 16 and 20%. One in seven British males of Pakistani descent in employment was a taxi driver, cab driver or chauffeur, compared with 1 in 100 white British men, according to one such study, and over a quarter of Bangladeshi men were chefs, cooks or waiters compared with 1 in 100 white British men, the same report claims. [] .

[] .

ee also

*United Kingdom budget
*Economic history of Britain
*Residential property market in the United Kingdom


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