The Economic Activity of The United Kingdom
The economy of UK comprises of the economies of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. With a GDP (PPP) per capita of about $2.77 trillion in 2007, it is the 3rd biggest economy in Europe next to Germany and France and the 5th biggest in the world in terms of market exchange rates. Its capital London is one of the financial centres of the world on par with New York, Hong Kong, and Singapore. In 2004, more than 27 million tourist visited UK making it as the 6th most favorite destination in the world. While the city of London gets the top spot in 2006 with about 15.6 million tourists, ahead of Bangkok (10 million) and Paris (9 million).
The services sector accounts for about 73% of the GDP, industry at 26%, and the agriculture for only 1%. Like with other developed countries, the service industry of UK remains the dominant sector with major contributions from wholesale and retail trade, hotels and restaurants, finance, real estate, transportation, storage, and communication. Agriculture is extremely mechanized, highly efficient based on European standards and producing almost 60% of the regions food requirements. The main industries of UK include machine tools, industrial equipment, scientific tools, shipbuilding and aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, oil production, and coal mining. UK is home to top global companies such as BMW, General Motors, BAE Systems, GlaxoSmithKline, Unilever, Reebok, and Diageo. UK’s main trading partners include the US, Germany France, China, and Netherlands.
There had been debates on whether UK should use the Euro as its currency. But public polls revealed that most Britons are opposed to the idea of abolishing its Pound Sterling. UK decided not to join the Euro during the currency’s launch. The decision was ruled out by British Prime Minister, The Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, stating the assessment not to join had been right for Britain and Europe. In the wake of the global economic crisis of 2008, UK is forecasted by the IMF and several economic analysts to experience the worst economic recession in the European Union because of high levels of government and household debts in Britain. Since 1992, the economy shrank for the first time resulting to an end to 16-year strongest economic growth in Europe.