United Kingdom Exporter Guide 2010
The UK, a leading trading power and financial center, is the seventh largest economy in the world. The UK is also one of the quintet of trillion dollar economies of Western Europe with consumers looking for high quality food products from around the world, including the United States. Services, particularly banking, insurance, and business services, account for the largest proportion of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) while industry continues to decline in importance. Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards but, in terms of gross added value, represents less than 1 percent of GDP. While UK agriculture produces about 60 percent of the country’s food needs with less than 2 percent of the labor force, the UK is heavily reliant on imports to meet the varied demands of the UK consumer who also expect year round availability of all food products.
Since emerging from recession in 1992, Britain's economy enjoyed the longest period of expansion on record during which time growth outpaced most of Western Europe. The global economic slowdown, tight credit, and falling home prices, however, pushed Britain back into recession in the latter half of 2008. The UK is now officially out of recession but it will still take the country some time to recover.