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United Kingdom:
Economy

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Other pages in this profile of the United Kingdom:
Geography, People, Government, Communications & Transportation, Military & Transnational Issues.
Economy - overview
Definition
The UK, a leading trading power and financial center, is one of the quintet of trillion dollar economies of Western Europe. Over the past two decades, the government has greatly reduced public ownership and contained the growth of social welfare programs. Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with less than 2% of the labor force. The UK has large coal, natural gas, and oil reserves; primary energy production accounts for 10% of GDP, one of the highest shares of any industrial nation. Services, particularly banking, insurance, and business services, account by far for the largest proportion of GDP while industry continues to decline in importance. Since emerging from recession in 1992, Britain's economy has enjoyed the longest period of expansion on record; growth has remained in the 2-3% range since 2004, outpacing most of Europe. The economy's strength has complicated the Labor government's efforts to make a case for Britain to join the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Critics point out that the economy is doing well outside of EMU, and public opinion polls show a majority of Britons are opposed to the euro. The BROWN government has been speeding up the improvement of education, health services, and affordable housing at a cost in higher taxes and a widening public deficit.
GDP (purchasing power parity)
Definition - World rank and map
$2.137 trillion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)
Definition
$2.773 trillion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
Definition - World rank and map
3.1% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita
Definition - World rank and map
$35,100 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
Definition
agriculture: 0.9%
industry: 23.4%
services: 75.7% (2007 est.)
Labor force
Definition
30.87 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
Definition
agriculture: 1.4%
industry: 18.2%
services: 80.4% (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate
Definition - World rank and map
5.4% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line
Definition
14% (2006 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
Definition
lowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 28.5% (1999)
Distribution of family income - Gini index
Definition - World rank and map
34 (2005)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
Definition - World rank and map
2.3% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed)
Definition - World rank and map
18.5% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget
Definition
revenues: $1.155 trillion
expenditures: $1.236 trillion (2007 est.)
Public debt
Definition - World rank and map
43% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products
Definition
cereals, oilseed, potatoes, vegetables; cattle, sheep, poultry; fish
Industries
Definition
machine tools, electric power equipment, automation equipment, railroad equipment, shipbuilding, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, electronics and communications equipment, metals, chemicals, coal, petroleum, paper and paper products, food processing, textiles, clothing, other consumer goods
Industrial production growth rate
Definition - World rank and map
0.5% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production
Definition - World rank and map
372.6 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption
Definition - World rank and map
348.7 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption per capita
Definition - World rank and map
5,721.7 kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports
Definition
2.839 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports
Definition
11.16 billion kWh (2005)
Oil - production
Definition - World rank and map
1.861 million bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption
Definition - World rank and map
1.82 million bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption per 1,000 people
Definition - World rank and map
29.9 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports
Definition - World rank and map
1.956 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports
Definition - World rank and map
1.654 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves
Definition - World rank and map
4.029 billion bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production
Definition - World rank and map
84.16 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption
Definition - World rank and map
91.16 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption per capita
Definition - World rank and map
1,496 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports
Definition - World rank and map
8.843 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports
Definition - World rank and map
15.84 billion cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves
Definition - World rank and map
509.2 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance
Definition - World rank and map
-$136.2 billion (2007 est.)
Exports
Definition - World rank and map
$441.4 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities
Definition
manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals; food, beverages, tobacco
Exports - partners
Definition
US 14.1%, Germany 11%, France 7.8%, Ireland 7.5%, Netherlands 6.4%, Belgium 5.3%, Spain 4.2% (2006)
Imports
Definition - World rank and map
$616.8 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities
Definition
manufactured goods, machinery, fuels; foodstuffs
Imports - partners
Definition
Germany 13.7%, US 8.3%, Netherlands 7.2%, France 6.8%, China 5.9%, Norway 4.9%, Belgium 4.8%, Italy 4% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
Definition - World rank and map
$57.3 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external
Definition - World rank and map
$10.45 trillion (30 June 2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
Definition
$1.324 trillion (2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
Definition
$1.741 trillion (2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares
Definition
$3.058 trillion (2005)
Economic aid - donor
Definition
ODA, $12.46 billion (2006)
Currency (code)
Definition
British pound (GBP)
Exchange rates
Definition
British pounds per US dollar - 0.4993 (2007), 0.5418 (2006), 0.5493 (2005), 0.5462 (2004), 0.6125 (2003)
Fiscal year
Definition
6 April - 5 April


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