- Economy of England
The Economy of England is the largest economy of the four
constituent countriesof the United Kingdom. Englandis a most highly industrialisedcountry. It is an important producer of textilesand chemical products. Although automobiles, locomotives, and aircraftare among England’s other important industrial products, the bulk of the country's income comes from the City (see next paragraph).
Since the 1990s the financial services sector has played an increasingly greater role in the English economy and the
City of Londonis one of the world's largest financial centres. Banks, insurance companies, commodity and futures exchanges are heavily concentrated in the City.
The service sector of the economy as a whole is now the largest in England, with manufacturing and primary industries in decline. The only major secondary industry that is growing is the construction industry, fueled by economic growth provided mainly by the growing services, administrative and financial sector.
pound sterlingis the official currency of England and the central bank of the United Kingdom, the Bank of England, is located in London.
In medieval times (c.
11th Century- 15th Century) the wool tradewas the major industry of England and the country exported wool to Europe. Many market towns and ports grew up on the industry. Poor infrastructure hampered the development of large scale industry. This changed when the canals and railways began to be built, in the late 18th Centuryand early 19th Century.
England became the world's first industrialised nation, with the
industrial revolutiontaking place in the late 18th Century. This was also the age of British overseas expansion, where Englandrelied upon colonies (such as America, Canada, or Australia) to bring in resources such as cottonand tobacco. English factories then processed the goods and sold them on in both the quickly growing domestic market or abroad. Cities grew and large industrial centres were established, especially in the Midlandsand North England.
Heavy industries, such as
coal mining, steel productionand ship building, declined in England during the second half of the 20th Centuryand were replaced by service industries and hi-tech industries, such as the computerand pharmaceutical industries.
Today England is one of Europe's, as well as the world's, wealthiest nations and is the wealthiest of the four nations that make up the UK (
GDP per capita).
Agriculture and fishing
Agricultureis intensive, highly mechanised, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with only 1% of the labour force. It contributes around 2% of GDP. Around two thirds of production is devoted to livestock, one third to arable crops. Agriculture is heavily subsidised by the European Union's and it is not known how large a sector it would be if the market was unregulated. The GDP from the farming sector is argued by some to be a small return on the subsidies givenFact|date=June 2008 but is argued by others that subsidy boosts securityFact|date=June 2008 and therefore is justified in the same way defence spending is.
The main crops that are grown are wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, sugar beets, fruits and vegetables. The livestock that is raised is cattle and sheep. In the drier east, farmers raise wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, and sugar beets. Apples are grown in the west.
Cornwalland the nearby Isles of Scilly, that have the mildest climate and longest growing season in England, raise winter vegetables, fruits, and flowers for the London Market.
England is one of the world’s leading fishing nations. Its fleets bring home fish of every kind, ranging from sole to
herring. Kingston upon Hull, Grimsby, Fleetwood, Great Yarmouth, and Lowestoftare among the coastal towns that have large fishingindustries.
Investing and banking
England's capital is
London. The " City of London" is London's major financial district, and one of the world's leading financial centres. The city is where the London Stock Exchange, as well as many other exchanges, are based.
Service industries, particularly
banking, insurance, and business services, account by far for the largest proportion of GDP and employ around 70% of the working population.
Manufacturingcontinues to decline in importance. In the 1960s and 70s manufacturing was a significant part of England's economic output. However a lot of the heavy manufacturing industry was government run and had failed to respond to world markets. State industries were sold off and over the 20th century many closed as they were unable to compete; a situation largely reflected in other Western industrialized countries. However, manufacturing still accounts for some 26% of the UK's GDP. England remains a key player in the aerospace, defence, pharmaceutical and chemical industries and British companies world wide continue to have a role in the sector through foreign investment. Closure of English factories and movement of manufacturing to Eastern Europeand the " Far East" in search of lower costs (especially through lower wages and less strict employment laws) continues to benefit share-holders, consumers and the UK economy as a whole, although areas that were formerly dependent on manufacturing such as the Midlands and North East have experienced severe economic decline.
Tourismis the 6th largest industry in the UK, contributing 76 billion pounds to the economy. It employs 1,800,000 full-time equivalentpeople — 6.1% of the working population (2002 figures) [http://www.visitbritain.com] . The largest centre for tourism is London, which attracts millions of international tourists every year.
The currency of England is the
Pound Sterling, or "British pound". The central bank of the United Kingdom, where interest rates are set and monetary policy is carried out, is the Bank of Englandin London.
There is considerable debate as to whether the UK should join the
Eurocurrency, which would replace the Pound. The relatively good economic performance has complicated the Blair government's efforts to make a case for Britain to leave the Pound Sterling and join the Euro. The British Prime Ministerhas pledged to hold a public referendumif membership meets Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown's " five economic tests". The tests are:
business cycles and economic structures compatible with European interest rates on a permanent basis?
# If problems emerge, is there sufficient flexibility to deal with them?
# What impact would entry into the Euro have on the UK's financial services industry?
# Would joining the Euro create better conditions for firms making long-term decisions to invest in Britain?
# Would joining the Euro promote higher growth, stability and a lasting increase in jobs?
When assessing the tests, Gordon Brown concluded that while the decision was close, the United Kingdom should not yet join the Euro. In particular, he cited fluctuations in house prices as a barrier to immediate entry. The tests will be reassessed in the future. Public
opinion polls show that a majority of Britons are opposed to joining the single currency at this time. The same polls point towards slightly stronger opposition to the Euro in England than in the other UK nations.
The strength of the English economy varies from region to region. GDP, and GDP per capita is highest in
London. The following table shows the GDP ( 2004) per capita of England as a whole and each of the nine regions.
Two of the are in England.
Inner Londonis number 1 with a €71 338 GDP per capita (303% above EU average); Berkshire, Buckinghamshire& Oxfordshireis number 7 with a €40 937 GDP per capita (174% above EU average).
Although being in South West England, which is the 4th strongest region in England,
Cornwalland the Isles of Scilly(combined into a NUTS:3 region for statistical purposes) is the weakest area in England, with a GDP per capita of €18 645 per capita, or 79% of the EU average of €21 503.
Economy of Northern Ireland
Economy of Scotland
Economy of Wales
Economy of the United Kingdom
Economy of Europe
* [https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/uk.html CIA World Factbook]
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