Electricity, Gas and Water Supply



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Electricity, Gas and Water Supply



The Blue Book 2006 reports that this sector added gross value of £17,103 million to the UK economy in 2004. Great Britain is expected to launch the building of new nuclear reactors to replace existing generators and to boost UK's energy reserves.

Construction

The Blue Book 2006 reports that this industry added gross value of £64,747 million to the UK economy in 2004.

Service Industries

The service sector is the dominant sector of the UK economy, a feature normally associated with the economy of a developed country. This means that the Tertiary sector jobs outnumber the Secondary and Primary sector jobs. Wholesale and retail trade.This sector includes the motor trade, auto repairs, personal and household goods industries. The Blue Book 2006 reports that this sector added gross value of £127,520 million to the UK economy in 2004.

Hotels and restaurants.The Blue Book 2006 reports that this industry added gross value of £33,074 million to the UK economy in 2004. Transport, storage and communication.The Blue Book 2006 reports that the transport and storage industry added gross value of £49,516 million to the UK economy in 2004 while the communication industry added a gross value of £29,762 million.

Financial Intermediation

London is the world's largest financial centre, with financial services based around two districts: “The City” (the City of London) and the Docklands (particularly around Canary Wharf). The City houses the London Stock Exchange (shares and bonds), London Metal Exchange (base metal and plastic futures), Lloyds of London (insurance), and the Bank of England. The Docklands began development in the 1980s and is now home to the Financial Services Authority, as well as several important financial institutions (such as Barclays Bank, Citigroup and HSBC). There are now over 500 banks with offices in the City and Docklands, with the majority of business in London being conducted on an international basis, with established leads in areas such as Eurobonds, foreign exchange markets, energy futures and global insurance. The Alternative Investments Market has acted a growth market over the past decade, allowing London to also expand as an international equity centre for smaller firms.

The United Kingdom had £21bn of financial exports in 2005, contributing significantly towards the balance of payments. The UK has had an expanding export business in financial service, which has been influenced by a mixture of unique institutions, light regulation, and a highly skilled workforce.

Several of the major English cities have large financial sectors and related services, notably the Leeds city region which is home to several large banks and building societies and is vital for the communications industry. On May 29 2009, the HSBC Future of Business Report predicted the rise of several supercities, including Leeds, which it expected to become the largest financial hub outside of London, this may already be on its way as the first steps for a massive expansion of the City of Leeds has been paved with the formation of the Leeds City Region (nicknamed Greater Leeds) in late 2008. Manchester also has a large financial sector, including the Co-Operative Financial Services, who run the most successful ethical fund in the UK. Manchester also has the largest professional services sector outside the South East, particularly legal activities. The Blue Book 2006 reports that this industry added gross value of £86,145 million to the UK economy before adjustment of financial services valued at £50,165 million in 2004.

Real Estate and Lettings

The UK property market boomed for the seven years up to 2008 and in some areas property trebled in value over that period. The increase in property prices had a number of causes: sustained economic growth, an expansion in household numbers (including high immigration into some regions), low interest rates, the growth in property investment, and planning restrictions on the supply of new housing.

The UK property market initially peaked in July 2004 and was static or falling in the capital and some other areas until late 2005, leading many to worry about the possibility of a house price crash and to predict the end of a major British property bubble. However, the property market strengthened considerably in the first half of 2006, showing particular strength in the capital. This led many analysts to revise previously negative assessments of the market, with most subsequently predicting continued modest growth in prices in the mid-term. [2] However, around September 2007, house prices began to fall consistently, arguably contributing to the negative UK economic growth of the 3rd Quarter 2008.

The predicted house price crash did in fact occur, beginning in late 2008, and was all the more damaging because of record levels of household debt. Increasing numbers of bankruptcies and home repossessions have worried some economists. This has led many to propose that the correction in house prices will lead much of the country into a lengthy recession. In contrast however, first-time buyers who currently have assets not consisting of residential property, but with no way of attaining residential property (in some cases at all, and in others without undertaking unsustainable debt amounting to on average up to 5 times their annual salary), are now better placed to enter the property market.

The rapid increase in buy-to-let speculators since 2000 created an artificial shortage of homes. The effect was to price many first-time buyers out of the market; they have declined from around 50% of sales to 25%, virtually equal to the expansion in buy-to-let. A survey in London in 2006 found that 67% of new properties were sold to buy-to-let speculators. This and planning restrictions requiring builders to use brown field sites led to rapid growth in one and two-bedroom apartments in cities such as Manchester, Leeds and Nottingham, creating an oversupply of this type of property. Banks relaxed their lending requirements for buy-to-let buyers from 75% of the value the of property in 2003 to 85%, effectively creating a highly geared investment that relied on rising prices. The perception of a housing shortage, despite there being little evidence of any shortage of property to rent (if not buy), meant that most UK buyers believed that property prices would always rise except for small and temporary falls.

This sector includes letting of dwellings and other related business support activities. The Blue Book 2006 reports that the lettings industry added gross value of £83,037 million to the UK economy in 2004 while other real estate and business support activities added gross value of £175,333 million.



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