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United Kingdom

Capital City: London
%T:%M %A in London
The British economy grew weaker in 2005 owing to the slowdown of the domestic consumption and the investment. United Kingdom’s GDP growth rate was 3.1% in 2004 and 1.9% in 2005. The IMF forecasts a 2.2% growth in 2006. This growth is mainly driven by the government’s expansive budget policy.
The unemployment rate is one of the lowest in Europe (4.9% in November 2005). The United Kingdom has to face 2 major challenges which are to modernize its public services (transport, education, public health, etc.) and to reform the retirement system.

Agriculture is a very productive sector, provides 1% of the GDP and employs 2% of the active population. Breeding is still the first agricultural activity, despite "mad cow" disease and "foot and mouth" disease crisis. However, consumers are loosing faith and organic products demand is zooming. Fishing is also a relatively developed industry. The United Kingdom holds considerably large mining resources. It is the 10 th largest oil producer in the world and its gas reserves are huge. BP and Shell appear among the very first operators of global oil industry. Manufacturing is not a very competitive industry and accounts for 20% of the GDP. Pharmaceuticals is one of the best performing industries in the world, as well as aircraft and defence industries. Services are British economy's driving sector. London is Europe's largest financial marketplace and United Kingdom is a world leader in numerous sectors such as telecommunications, maritime transport, engineering, architecture, media, advertising, etc.

The United Kingdom is a member of the European Union, but does not currently take part of the single currency.
Its top three export countries are the US, Germany and France.
UK’s top three import partners are Germany, the United States and France. The country mainly imports machinery, vehicles, capital goods and aircraft equipment.

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