The United Kingdom’s
unemployment rate as of July 2017
Steven Wyble is online content editor at Scotsman Guide Media.
Reach him at (800) 297-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The United Kingdom
The United Kingdom remains one of the most powerful countries in the world, and
boasts the second-largest economy in Europe, after Germany. But in the wake of U.K.
voters’ surprising decision last year to leave the European Union, the country faces
difficult questions about its economic future.
The U.K.’s economy was severely hampered in the wake of the worldwide financial
crisis in 2008, but it eventually rebounded, with the size of its economy bouncing back to pre-recession levels by 2013. But a June 2016 referendum in which U.K.
residents voted to leave the EU — a move known colloquially as “Brexit” — left the
future of trade deals between the U.K. and the EU in limbo.
Leaving the EU is a two-year process, expected to be completed in March 2019.
Negotiations between the U.K. and EU have been going slowly, however, and the
deadline may need to be extended. Many specifics have yet to be decided, and it’s
still not certain whether the U.K. will ultimately implement a “soft” or “hard” exit —
that is, whether it will largely retain existing trade and travel agreements with EU
countries, or leave without any kind of clear exit agreement in place.
Many analysts contend it’s still too early to know exactly what effect Brexit has had
on the U.K.’s economy, but it’s clear that the most dire predictions have not come
true. Although many analysts forecasted an immediate recession and a decline in
gross domestic product (GDP) in the wake of the Brexit referendum, a Cushman &
Wakefield report points out that, after the Brexit vote, the U.K.’s GDP grew faster than
The country’s economy expanded by an estimated 1.8 percent in 2016. This past May,
the Bank of England adjusted its forecast for 2017 GDP growth to 1.9 percent, down
from a forecast of 2 percent this past February. Inflation jumped to 2.9 percent as of
this past August, up from 2.6 percent the prior month, but unemployment fell to a
42-year low of 4. 3 percent as of this past July, Business Insider reports.
Commercial real estate investment is flourishing in the country, bolstered by a post-Brexit weakening of the British pound. Foreign investment, largely from China and
Hong Kong, has been encouraged by the weak currency, which effectively gives investors a 20 percent discount compared to pre-referendum currency values.
Some financial professionals in the U.K. may be looking to jump ship in the wake of
the Brexit vote, however. According to a report from job-search website Indeed, the
number of U.K. financial professionals seeking work in Ireland — which is not part
of the U.K. — rose 37 percent from pre-Brexit levels. U.K. finance professionals are
reportedly concerned about the uncertainty Brexit has engendered in the financial
markets and see the Irish job market as an attractive alternative. n
By Steven Wyble
The United Kingdom’s GDP growth
rate in second-quarter 2017
The United Kingdom’s inflation
rate as of August 2017