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Britain By The Numbers

Profile on Great Britain: Although a longshot in winning the gold in our World Markets Challenge, the UK's FTSE 100 is now less than 1% behind the S&P 500 on the leaderboard (see current leaders here). Here are some key stats on Britain's economy and markets.

Economy:
The United Kingdom economy is the fifth largest in the world in terms of GDP, and stands as the second largest economy in Europe after Germany.

  • The UK’s top exports in 2007 included finished manufactured products, accounting for $184.8 billion, followed by semi-manufactured products at $103.4 billion, and fuels at $33.2 billion, according to The Economist data
  • The United Kingdom top export destinations in 2007 included the United States, accounting for 15%, followed by Germany at 11.6%, and France at 9.8%.
  • In April, the tax rate on large corporations was reduced by 2% to 28%.
  • The Bank of England has maintained interest rates at 5% since April 10, 2008
  • The pound sterling has depreciated by 4.52% year-to-date versus the US dollar, trading at $1.8964 per pound


Markets:
The London Stock Exchange is one of the oldest exchanges in the world, tracing its roots back more than 300 years. According to the London Stock Exchange website, the exchange has over 3,287 companies from over 60 different countries listed as of November 2007 (more than any other exchange in Europe).

  • The FSTE 100 index was established in 1984, and comprises the 100 largest companies listed in the United Kingdom.
  • The FSTE 100 reached a record intraday high of 6950.60, set on December 30, 1999
  • So far this year, the FSTE 100 index closed in negative territory 90 times of the total trading sessions this year, or 58.06% of the time
  • It is off by 14.6% from its highest closing price of 6479.40 set on January 3, 2008
  • From 12/06 to 12/07, the FSTE 100 was up 3.80%

The FSTE 100 index is down 14.29% year-to-date. Here are some FTSE 100 companies listed in the US (almost all are down).

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