2007 OECD Economic Surveys: United Kingdom 2007

image of OECD Economic Surveys: United Kingdom 2007

This 2007 edition of OECD's periodic economic survey of the British economy finds that the UK has embraced globalisation and has been rewarded with strong growth and performance, but that the near-term outlook is more uncertain, given recent financial market turbulence. Among other issues, it looks at key challenges including globalisation, raising educational achievement, improving work prospects for the least skilled, the productivity gap, and tax competition.

English Also available in: French

Assessment and recommendations

Living up to the challenges posed by globalisation is the over-arching theme of this Economic Survey. Compared with its large European neighbours, the United Kingdom has been more proactive in adapting to international economic forces. This is reflected in support for free trade, openness to foreign direct investment, a willingness to open its labour markets to the citizens from the new EU member countries that joined in May 2004, the adoption of regulatory policies that promote efficiency and a macroeconomic policy framework that has enhanced economic resilience. This willingness to embrace the opportunities offered by globalisation is generally backed by widespread support among key groups, including politicians, trade union leaders and employers. This has been rewarded with a stronger economic performance. The level of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is now the third highest in the G7 (after the United States and Canada). Ten years earlier it was the lowest in this group. The United Kingdom’s GDP per capita ranking among all OECD countries has also improved. GDP growth has been close to its trend rate of around 2¾ per cent for a number of years, suggesting that the amplitude of the economic cycle is smaller now than in previous decades.

English Also available in: French

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