British Economy

The United Kingdom is one of the world’s largest exporters of
manufactured goods per head of population. For every person employed in
agriculture eleven people are employed in mining, manufacturing and

Apart from coal and iron ore Britain has very few natural resources. Its
agriculture provides only half the food it needs. Most of if the raw
materials such as oil and various metals (copper zinc, uranium ore and
others) have to be imported. Britain also has to import timber, cotton,
fruit and farm products.

Britain used to be richly forested, but most of the forests were cut
down to make more room for cultivation. The greater part of land is used
for cattle and sheep breeding, and pig raising. Among the crops grown on
the farms are wheat, barley and oats. The fields are mainly in the
eastern part of the country. Most of the farms are small. Farms tend to
be bigger where the soil is less fertile.

Britain produces high quality expensive goods, which has always been
characteristic of its industry. A shortage of raw materials, as well as
the high cost of production makes it unprofitable for British industry
to produce semi-finished goods or cheap articles. Britain mostly
produces articles, requiring skilled labour, precision instruments,
chemicals. Britain high quality consumer goods and articles made of
various kinds of synthetic (man-made) materials.

The original basis of British industry was coal mining, and the early
factories grew up not far from the main mining areas.

Glasgow and Newcastle became great centres of engineering and
shipbuilding . Lancashire produced cotton goods and Yorkshire woollens ,
with Sheffield concentrating on iron and steel. Birmingham developed
light engineering. There appeared a tendency for industry and population
to move to the south, particularly to the London area. Britain’s
industry is now widely dispersed. Great progress was made in the
development of new industries, such as the aircraft, automobile,
electronic industries and others. A number of atomic power reactors were

Great emphasis was made on the development of the war industry .


1. manufactured goods – промислові товари

2. per head of population – на душу населення

3. apart of smth. – крім чогось

4. used to be smth. – був кимось колись

5. used to do smth. – робив щось колись

6. to make room for smth. – звільняти простір (місце) для чогось

7. to breed smth. – розводити, вирощувати (тварин)

8. to tend to do smth. – мати тенденцію робити щось

9. article – виріб, товар, предмет виробництва

10. to require smth. (doing smth.) – вимагати, потребувати чогось
(робити щось)

11. precision instruments – точні інструменти

12. to be widely dispersed – широко розповсюджуватись

13. to make emphasis on smth. – надавати чомусь особливого значення ,
приділяти комусь особливу увагу

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