Economy. The traditional economic strength of Britain, as a pioneer in the industrial revolution, has been manufacturing. Britain is one of the most highly industrialised countries in the world: for every person employed in agriculture, twelve are employed in industry. Most of gross national product comes from manufacturing (iron and steel, engineering, textiles, chemicals, food products and consumer goods), mining and quarrying , construction and public utilities.
There are significant amounts of coal, small deposits of iron, limestone, black tin and gravel. With the discovery and exploitation of oil and natural gas from under the North Sea (1), the country has become self-sufficient in energy.
In industrial production the heavy industrial occupies the leading place. From 20 to 25 million tons, of steel, 14 - 15 million tons of pig-iron, more than2 million motor vehicles, and 230,000 tractors are produceu annually. Britain has large shipbuilding, electro-engineering, oil and chemical industries. She is one of the world's most important manufacturersi of aircraft frames, complete aircraft and, above all, aero-engines (Roils-Royce and other companies). .
There have been considerable changes in the industrial structure since mid-century. By the mid-1970s the newer industries (electrical and electronics manufacturing, petroleum products and others) were producing a much lager share of the total industrial output. Mining and quarrying activities have"'declined in importance. Production in the mid-1980s is only half as much as it was before World War I, the main reason being a decline in coal output. Since coal-mining is by fat most important of Britain's mining; activities, the rise in output in other kinds of mining was not great enough to offset the decline in the major one. ;
The changes in the character of economic activity have brought with them changes in the pattern of industrial location. An illustration is provided by Lancashire, which was for a long time the centre of cotton and other textile production and heavily depend upon these activities. In 1911 one Lancashire worker in four was employed in cotton-textile production. By the mid-1980s fewer than one in ten were so employed, while the metals, engineering and chemical industries had increased their number of workers by more than half.
The main features of Britain's economy at the present time are consolidating of capital at a vety high level, high profits of the monopolists, accelerating inflation, soaring prices, lower living standards, growing unemployment. Britain's economic sickness has a long history and many causes. I
Britain's economy was built tip when the country had a monopolistic dominance in manufacture and trade (when Britain was the "workshop of the world") and when she was supported by a large colonial empire. After World War II, however, these privileged positions changes. The old-fashioned structure of the British industry could not adapt quickly to the new conditions on the world market. While other countries were experiencing a quick growth of the new industries and technologies, Britain found himself lagging behind. "
Great Britain is a member of the Common Market. Entry into the Common Market was supposed to be the way to re-vitalize the British economy. It has not. Europe sells more to Britain than it buys from her. Because. Britain is increasingly unable to sell as mush as she buys, she has been plagued by a persistent balance-of-trade deficit and inflatory pressures. Beneath the immediate international problem of the payment deficit lies the fact that British productivity lags behind that of the Common Market countries, 'Japan, or the US. On the surface , Britain bustles with the prosperity: bumper-to-bumper traffic and aluminium forests of the television antennas, but underneath, nearly eveiy observant Briton knows that his nation is in serious trouble. Britain, which once ruled the world, now is muddling through one crisis after another.
The oil crisis of 1973 - 1974 was particularly damaging the economy
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