Economy of England
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|Economy of England|
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All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars
The Economy of England is the largest economy of the four countries of the United Kingdom.
England is a highly industrialised country. It is an important producer of textiles and chemical products. Although automobiles, locomotives, and aircraft are among England's other important industrial products, a significant proportion of the country's income comes from the City of London. Since the 1990s, the financial services sector has played an increasingly significant role in the English economy and the City of London is one of the world's largest financial centres. Banks, insurance companies, commodity and futures exchanges are heavily concentrated in the City. The British pound sterling is the official currency of England and the central bank of the United Kingdom, the Bank of England, is located in London.
The service sector of the economy as a whole is now the largest in England, with manufacturing and primary industries in decline. The only major secondary industry that is growing is the construction industry, fuelled by economic growth provided mainly by the growing services, administrative and financial sector.
In medieval times (c. 11th–15th century), the wool trade was the major industry of England and the country exported wool to Europe. Many market towns and ports grew up on the industry. Starting in 1555 with John Lok, England entered into the slave trade. John Hawkins is often considered to be the pioneer of the British slave trade, because he was the first to run the Triangular trade, making a profit at every stop. Poor infrastructure hampered the development of large scale industry. This changed when the canals and railways began to be built, in the late 18th century and early 19th century. England became the world's first industrialised nation, with the industrial revolution taking place in the late 18th century. This was also the age of British overseas expansion, where England relied upon colonies (such as India, America, Canada, or Australia) to bring in resources such as cotton and tobacco. English factories then processed goods and sold them on in both the quickly growing domestic market or abroad. Cities grew and large industrial centres were established, especially in the Midlands and North England.
Agriculture and fishing
Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanised, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with only 2% of the labour force. It contributes around 2% of GDP. Around two thirds of production is devoted to livestock, and one third to arable crops. Agriculture is subsidised by the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy.
The main crops that are grown are wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, sugar beets. England is one of the world's leading fishing nations. Its fleets bring home fish of every kind, ranging from sole to herring. Kingston upon Hull, Grimsby, Fleetwood, Great Yarmouth, and Lowestoft are among the coastal towns that have large fishing industries.
England's capital is London. The City of London is England's major financial district, and one of the world's leading financial centres. The city is where the London Stock Exchange, as well as many other exchanges, are based.
Service industries, particularly banking, insurance, and business services, account by far for the largest proportion of GDP and employ around 80% of the working population.
Leeds is England's second largest financial centre, with over 30 national and international banks based in the city. Over 124,000 people are employed in banking and financial services in Leeds, and over in the wider Leeds City Region.
Manchester is the largest financial and professional services sector outside of London and is the mid tier private equity capital of Europe.
Manufacturing continues to decline in importance. In the 1960s and 70s manufacturing was a significant part of England's economic output. However, a lot of the heavy manufacturing industry was government-run and had failed to respond to world markets. State industries were sold off and over the 20th century many closed as they were unable to compete; a situation largely reflected in other Western industrialised countries. However, manufacturing still accounts for some 26% of the UK's GDP. England remains a key player in the aerospace, defence, pharmaceutical and chemical industries, and British companies worldwide continue to have a role in the sector through foreign investment.
Tourism accounts for £96 billion of GDP (8.6% of the economy) as of 2009. It employs over 2 million people – around 4% of the working population. The largest centre for tourism is London, which attracts millions of international tourists every year.
The strength of the English economy varies from region to region. GDP, and GDP per capita is highest in London. The following table shows the GDP (2004) per capita of England as a whole and each of the nine regions.
|Rank||Place||GDP per capita
|2.||South East||31 300|
|3.||East of England||27 778|
|4.||South West||27 348|
|5.||East Midlands||26 683|
|6.||West Midlands||25 931|
|7.||North West||25 396|
|8.||Yorkshire and the Humber||25 300|
|9.||North East||22 886|
Two of the 10 economically strongest areas in the European Union are in England. Inner London is number 1 with a €71 338 GDP per capita (303% above EU average); Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire is number 7 with a €40 937 GDP per capita (174% above EU average).
Although being in South West England, which is the 4th strongest region in England, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (combined into a NUTS:3 region for statistical purposes) is the weakest area in England, with a GDP per capita of €18 645 per capita, or 79% of the EU average of €21 503.