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    United Kingdom Economy - 1991

      Overview: The UK is one of the world's great trading powers and financial centers, and its economy ranks among the four largest in Europe. The economy is essentially capitalistic with a generous admixture of social welfare programs and government ownership. Over the last decade the Thatcher government halted the expansion of welfare measures and promoted extensive reprivatization of the government economic sector. Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with only 1% of the labor force. Industry is a mixture of public and private enterprises, employing about 27% of the work force and generating 22% of GDP. The UK is an energy-rich nation with large coal, natural gas, and oil reserves; primary energy production accounts for 12% of GDP, one of the highest shares of any industrial nation. In mid-1990 the economy fell into recession after eight years of strong economic expansion, which had raised national output by one quarter. Britain's inflation rate, which has been consistently well above those of her major trading partners, is expected to decline in 1991. Between 1986 and 1990 unemployment fell from 11% to about 6%, but it is now rising rapidly because of the economic slowdown. As a major trading nation, the UK will continue to be greatly affected by world boom or recession, swings in the international oil market, productivity trends in domestic industry, and the terms on which the economic integration of Europe proceeds.

      GDP: $858.3 billion, per capita $15,000; real growth rate 0.8% (1990)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 9.3% (1990)

      Unemployment rate: 5.7% (1990)

      Budget: revenues $385.0 billion; expenditures $385.5 billion, including capital expenditures of $35.0 billion (FY91 est.)

      Exports: $188.9 billion (f.o.b., 1990); commodities--manufactured goods, machinery, fuels, chemicals, semifinished goods, transport equipment; partners--EC 50.7% (FRG 11.9%, France 10.2%, Netherlands 7.0%), US 13.1%

      Imports: $222 billion (c.i.f., 1990); commodities--manufactured goods, machinery, semifinished goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods; partners--EC 52.6% (FRG 16.6%, France 8.9%, Netherlands 7.9%), US 10.8%

      External debt: $10.5 billion (1990)

      Industrial production: growth rate 0% (1990)

      Electricity: 98,000,000 kW capacity; 316,500 million kWh produced, 5,520 kWh per capita (1990)

      Industries: machinery and transportation equipment, metals, food processing, paper and paper products, textiles, chemicals, clothing, other consumer goods, motor vehicles, aircraft, shipbuilding, petroleum, coal

      Agriculture: accounts for only 1.5% of GNP and 1% of labor force; highly mechanized and efficient farms; wide variety of crops and livestock products produced; about 60% self-sufficient in food and feed needs; fish catch of 665,000 metric tons (1987)

      Economic aid: donor--ODA and OOF commitments (1970-89), $21.0 billion

      Currency: British pound or pound sterling (plural--pounds); 1 British pound (5) = 100 pence

      Exchange rates: British pounds (5) per US$1--0.5171 (January 1991), 0.5603 (1990), 0.6099 (1989), 0.5614 (1988), 0.6102 (1987), 0.6817 (1986), 0.7714 (1985)

      Fiscal year: 1 April-31 March

      NOTE: The information regarding United Kingdom on this page is re-published from the 1991 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of United Kingdom Economy 1991 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about United Kingdom Economy 1991 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 08-Feb-03
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