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United Kingdom - Open Map
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Economy

Economy - overview: The UK, a leading trading power and financial center, deploys an essentially capitalistic economy, one of the quartet 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 only 1% 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. Economic growth has been slowed in 1999; recovery to 3% is in prospect for 2000, based on a rise in exports and domestic demand. The BLAIR government has put off the question of participation in the euro system until after the next election, not expected until 2001; Chancellor of the Exchequer BROWN has identified some key economic tests to determine whether the UK should join the common currency system.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.29 trillion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 1.9% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $21,800 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 1.7%
industry: 25.3%
services: 73% (1998)

Population below poverty line: 17%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.4%
highest 10%: 24.7% (1986)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.3% (1999)

Labor force: 29.2 million (1999)

Labor force - by occupation: services 68.9%, manufacturing and construction 17.5%, government 11.3%, energy 1.2%, agriculture 1.1% (1996)

Unemployment rate: 6% (1999)

Budget:
revenues: $541 billion
expenditures: $507.5 billion, including capital expenditures of $35.1 billion (FY98/99)

Industries: production machinery including 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, and other consumer goods

Industrial production growth rate: -0.3% (1999)

Electricity - production: 343.099 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 68.24%
hydro: 1.49%
nuclear: 28.48%
other: 1.79% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 331.482 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 200 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 12.6 billion kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: cereals, oilseed, potatoes, vegetables; cattle, sheep, poultry; fish

Exports: $271 billion (f.o.b., 1998)

Exports - commodities: manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals; food, beverages, tobacco

Exports - partners: EU 58% (Germany 12%, France 10%, Netherlands 8%), US 13% (1998)

Imports: $305.9 billion (f.o.b., 1998)

Imports - commodities: manufactured goods, machinery, fuels; foodstuffs

Imports - partners: EU 53% (Germany 13%, France 9%, Netherlands 7%, Italy 5%), US 14% (1998)

Debt - external: $NA

Economic aid - donor: ODA, $3.4 billion (1997)

Currency: 1 British pound = 100 pence

Exchange rates: British pounds per US$1 - 0.6092 (January 2000), 0.6180 (1999), 0.6037 (1998), 0.6106 (1997), 0.6403 (1996), 0.6335 (1995)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March



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