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Britain's economy is based primarily on private enterprise, which accounts for 75% of output and nearly 70% of employment. Just over 2% of the British workforce is engaged in agriculture, a lower proportion that in any other leading industrial country. Services contribute a growing proportion of production — 65%, while manufacturing accounts for 21%. By successfully exploiting oil and natural gas from the North Sea, Britain has become self-sufficient in energy and expects to remain so for some years. Exports, mainly to other EC countries, are equivalent to over half of domestic oil production.

International trade plays a vital role in Britain's economy. Exports of goods and services make up around 25% of national output. From 1981 to 1989 the economy experienced eight years of growth, but in 1990 with the recession in Britain and other major industrialised nations, growth slowed to about 1%. The rate of inflation went down in the early 1980s, went up in 1988, and dropped down again in 1992. The unemployment rate in the country is about 10% of the workforce. Growth of manufacturing productivity in Britain is generally faster than in all other leading industrialised countries.

The Government economic strategy is centred on keeping the rate of inflation down, within a range of 1 to 4%. As part of this strategy, public spending and borrowing is tightly controlled. At the same time government policy tries to improve the working of markets and promote enterprise and efficiency. A substantial amount of activity has been transferred from the public to the private sector through privatisation and contracting out. Since 1979, 46 major businesses have been privatised, including British Gas, British Telecom and British Steel.

The Government tries to take measures to reduce personal acid corporate income tax rates. Industrial relations have been put on a more secure legal footing, and training opportunities have been expanded. Small businesses employ more than a third of private sector workforce and are responsible for one-sixth of total turnover. The Government provides assistance and guidance to help with problems affecting small companies. Britain is considered an attractive location for inward investment because of its membership of the EC. Though markets in Britain operate as freely as possible, Government regulates monopolies, merges and anti-competitive practices.

In some sectors of the economy, a small number of large companies are responsible for a sizable percentage of total production, especially in vehicle, aerospace and transport equipment industries.

There are approximately 250 British industrial companies, each has an annual turnover of more than 500 MLB pounds. British Petroleum (BP) is the 11th largest industrial grouping in the world, and the second largest in Europe. Five British firms are among the leading 25 European Community companies. The largest manufacturing concerns are BAT Industries (tobacco, food products, etc.), Imperial Chemical Industries, Grand Metropolitan (food, drink, etc.), British Aerospace, Unilever (chemicals), Ford, General Electric Company, British Steel, and some others.

Britain is the world’s ninth largest oil producer and the fifth largest gas producer. Developing North Sea oil and gas has created huge support industry offering equipment and services to oil and gas companies at home and abroad. The two leading UK oil companies are BP and Shell.

Producing 80% of Britain's crude steel, British Steel is the fourth biggest steel company in the Western world. Just under half of the total output is exported. The major areas of steel production and processing are in Wales, northern and eastern England, and the British Midlands.

Britain's chemical industry is the third largest in Western Europe, and it exports nearly 50% of production, making it Britain’s single largest export earner. The most rapid growth in recent years has been in pharmaceutical, pesticides and cosmetics.

Britain also has highly developed mechanical engineering and metal goods industries, electrical, electronic and instrument engineering industries, shipbuilding and marine engineering industries, textile, clothing and footwear industries, manufacturing, construction, service and tourism industries.

British agriculture is famous for its efficiency and productivity. It employs about 2.1% of the workforce, and Britain is self-sufficient in 58% of all types of food and animal feed. Britain is a major exporter of agricultural produce, machinery and agrochemicals. Today Britain imports about 42% of its food. Two-thirds of agricultural land is owner-occupied. The fishing industry provides 59% of British fish supplies and employs nearly 17,000 full-time fishermen.

2. Find in the text English equivalents to the following words and word combinations:

приватне підприємство, робоча сила, розробляти родовище природного газу, експорт товарів, інфляція, рівень податків, швидке зростання, автомобільне виробництво, кораблебудування.


3. Make up word combinations from the following words and translate them into Ukrainian:

inflation, turnover, rate of, tax, responsible for, developed, production, growth, company, engineering, to be, gas and oil, rapid, total, highly, annual, mechanical.


4. Find in the text synonyms to the following words:

main, help, assistance, to make better, to fall.

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