Britain has the most regulated market economy. Based on current market price of the UK currency is the world's sixth largest economy and third largest in Europe after Germany and France, after falling behind France for the first time in more than a decade in 2008. HM Treasury, headed by minister of finance, responsible for developing and implementing the UK government's public finance policy and economic policy. Bank of England is the UK central bank and is responsible for the issuing country's currency, the Pound Sterling. Bank of Scotland and Northern Ireland retain the right to issue their own notes, in accordance with the Bank to maintain adequate records of England in reserves to cover their problems. Pound sterling is the world's third largest reserve currency (after the U.S. Dollar and Euro). Since 1997 the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee, led by Governor of the Bank of England, has been responsible for setting interest rates at a level necessary to achieve the inflation target for the economy as a whole is determined by the Chancellor each year.

In the last quarter of 2008 the British economy officially entered recession for the first time since 1991. Unemployment increased from 5.2% in May 2008 to 7.6% in May 2009 and in January 2011 the unemployment rate among 18 to 24-year-olds has increased from 11.9% to 20.3%, the highest since records began in 1992 at this time. Total number of UK government debt rose from 44.5% of GDP in December 2007 to 76.1% of GDP in December 2010.

UK service sector makes up about 73% of GDP. [197] London is one of three "command centers" global economy (along with New York City and Tokyo), is the world's largest financial center with New York, and has a GDP of Europe's largest city. Edinburgh is also one of the largest financial center in Europe. Tourism is very important for the UK economy and, with more than 27 million tourists arrived in 2004, Britain was ranked sixth major tourist destination in the world and London has the most international visitors from the cities of the world. Creative industries accounted for 7% of GVA in 2005 and grew by an average of 6% per year between 1997 and 2005.

The Industrial Revolution began in England with the initial concentration in the textile industry, followed by other heavy industries such as shipbuilding, coal mining and steel making. Empire is creating a foreign market for British products, allowing the UK to dominate international trade in the 19th century. As with other industrial countries, coupled with economic decline after two world wars, the British began to lose competitiveness and heavy industry declined, by degrees, throughout the 20th century. Manufacturing remains a vital part of the economy but only accounted for 16.7% of national output in 2003.

The automotive industry is an important part of the UK manufacturing sector and employs over 800,000 people, with a turnover of approximately £ 52 billion, generating £ 26.6 billion of exports. The aerospace industry of the UK aerospace industry is the second or third largest national depending on the method of measurement and has an annual turnover of approximately £ 20 billion. The pharmaceutical industry plays an important role in the British economy and this country has the third highest share of global pharmaceutical R & D expenses (after the United States and Japan).

The poverty line in Britain is generally defined as 60% of household income on average. 13.5 million people in 2007-2008, or 22% of the population, live below this line. This is a higher level of relative poverty than all but four other EU members. In the same year 4.0 million children, 31% of the total, lived in households below the poverty line after housing costs were taken into account. This is a drop 400,000 children from 1998-1999. The UK imports 40% of the food supply.
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