United Kingdom



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United Kingdom Economy 2008


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. 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): $2.13 trillion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $2.773 trillion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.1% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $35,000 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 0.9% industry: 23.4% services: 75.7% (2007 est.)
Labor force: 30.89 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 1.4% industry: 18.2% services: 80.4% (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate: 5.3% (2007 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.1% highest 10%: 28.5% (1999)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 34 (2005)
Investment (gross fixed): 18.2% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $1.154 trillion expenditures: $1.239 trillion (2007 est.)
Public debt: 43.6% of GDP (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.3% (2007 est.)
Central bank discount rate: NA
Commercial bank prime lending rate: 5.52% (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit: $5.278 trillion (31 December 2007)
Agriculture - products: cereals, oilseed, potatoes, vegetables; cattle, sheep, poultry; fish
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: 0.5% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production: 371 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 348.5 billion kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity - exports: 3.398 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - imports: 8.613 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Oil - production: 1.69 million bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - consumption: 1.763 million bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - exports: 1.749 million bbl/day (2005)
Oil - imports: 1.673 million bbl/day (2005)
Oil - proved reserves: 3.6 billion bbl (1 January 2008 est.)
Natural gas - production: 72.3 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 91.1 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 10.4 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 29.2 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 412 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)
Current account balance: -$119.2 billion (2007 est.)
Exports: $442.2 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities: manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals; food, beverages, tobacco
Exports - partners: US 14.2%, Germany 11.1%, France 8.1%, Ireland 8%, Netherlands 6.8%, Belgium 5.3%, Spain 4.5%, Italy 4.1% (2007)
Imports: $621.4 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities: manufactured goods, machinery, fuels; foodstuffs
Imports - partners: Germany 14.2%, US 8.6%, China 7.3%, Netherlands 7.3%, France 6.9%, Belgium 4.7%, Norway 4.7%, Italy 4.2% (2007)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $57.3 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external: $10.45 trillion (30 June 2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $1.288 trillion (2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $1.707 trillion (2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $3.058 trillion (2005)
Currency (code): British pound (GBP)
Exchange rates: British pounds (GBP) per US dollar - 0.4993 (2007), 0.5418 (2006), 0.5493 (2005), 0.5462 (2004), 0.6125 (2003)

NOTE: The economy information regarding United Kingdom on this page is re-published from the 2008 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of United Kingdom Economy 2008 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about United Kingdom Economy 2008 should be addressed to the CIA.