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World > Europe > United Kingdom > Economy (Facts)

United Kingdom - Economy (Facts)
Economy - overview: 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. GDP growth slipped in 2001-03 as the global downturn, the high value of the pound, and the bursting of the 'new economy' bubble hurt manufacturing and exports. Output recovered in 2004, to 3.2% growth, then slowed to 1.7% in 2005 and 2.7% in 2006. The economy is one of the strongest in Europe; inflation, interest rates, and unemployment remain low. The relatively good economic performance has complicated the BLAIR 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. Meantime, the government has been speeding up the improvement of education, transport, and health services, at a cost in higher taxes and a widening public deficit.
GDP - real growth rate: 2.8% (2006 est.)
GDP (purchasing power parity): $1.93 trillion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $2.346 trillion (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $31,800 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 1%
industry: 25.6%
services: 73.4% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty line: 17% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 28.5% (1999)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3% (2006 est.)
Labor force: 31.1 million (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 1.4%
industry: 18.2%
services: 80.4% (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate: 2.9% (2006 est.)
Budget: revenues: $973 billion
expenditures: $1.04 trillion; including capital expenditures of $87 billion (2006 est.)
Industries: 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: 0% (2006 est.)
Electricity - production: 363.2 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - consumption: 345.2 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports: 2.3 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports: 9.8 billion kWh (2004)
Oil - production: 2.075 million bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption: 1.827 million bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports: 1.956 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports: 1.654 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves: 4.487 billion bbl (1 January 2005)
Natural gas - production: 95.97 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 9.8 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 12.3 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products: cereals, oilseed, potatoes, vegetables; cattle, sheep, poultry; fish
Exports: $468.8 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities: manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals; food, beverages, tobacco
Exports - partners: US 13.9%, Germany 10.9%, France 10.4%, Ireland 7.1%, Netherlands 6.3%, Belgium 5.2%, Spain 4.5% (2006)
Imports: $603 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities: manufactured goods, machinery, fuels; foodstuffs
Imports - partners: Germany 12.8%, US 8.9%, France 6.9%, Netherlands 6.6%, China 5.3%, Norway 4.9%, Belgium 4.5% (2006)
Debt - external: $8.28 trillion (30 June 2006)
Currency: British Pound (GBP)

Current British Pound Exchange Rates
Historical British Pound Exchange Rates
Chart British Pound Exchange Rates
Currency code: GBP
Exchange rates: British pounds per US dollar - 0.5418 (2006), 0.5493 (2005), 0.5462 (2004), 0.6125 (2003), 0.6672 (2002)
Fiscal year: 6 April - 5 April


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions - British Pound Exchange Rates
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions
British Pound Exchange Rates


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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