...the Eurozone’s leading European trading partner, is emerging slowly from the crisis thanks to the austerity plan introduced by David Cameron’s government, and currently has the lowest unemployment rate since 2008. A likely explanation for why the majority of Scots voted to stay in the Union.
According to the World Bank, the United Kingdom is considered to be the world’s sixth biggest economy and third in Europe after Germany and France. The UK had a GNP of $2.5 billion in 2013. It saw a 3.1% increase in the second half of 2014 compared with the previous year, which points to economic recovery.
The United Kingdom was hard hit by the 2008 financial crisis. The government responded by introducing severe austerity measures to try and reduce the considerable budget deficit. Now the economy seems to be recovering and the unemployment rate is at its lowest since the crisis of 2008 (6.8%).
A service-based economy
Finance accounts for a significant portion of the country’s economy, which these days is largely service-based. The government is keen to protect London’s position as an important financial market and also to develop other sectors (particularly food production, construction, fashion & design and engineering) as well as to encourage companies to export.
In the area of foreign trade, the UK is a dynamic force. In 2013, it was the leading European nation in terms of foreign investment ($26.5 billion). However, according to the Office for National Statistics, the country’s trade deficit was £2.5 billion in June 2014, compared with £2.4 billion the previous year. The UK imports mainly finished goods and exports services.