KDNK secara ringkasnya telah mencapai pertumbuhan 4% pada awal 1990an dan secara beransur merosot pada tahun-tahun berikutnya. Ekonomi yang mencapai kemuncak itu adalah sementara berbanding tahun-tahun sebelumnya seperti kadar yang dicapai 6.5% pada 1970 yang menujukkan pertumbuhan yang mampan.<ref>ONS figures, reproduced by the Local Government Association, "From Recession to recovery", Nov 2008, http://www.lga.gov.uk/lga/aio/1215871, accessed 13-05-09, p7</ref> Kadar pertumbuhan tahunan adalah secara purata 2.68% dari tahun 1992-2007 berdasarkan laporan IMF dengan sector kewangan menjadi penyumbang terbesar dalam pertumbuhan.
Keadaan ekonomi melambung berakhir pada 2008 apabila United Kingdom tiba-tiba memasuki suatu [[Kemelesetan lewat 2000an|kemelesetan]] di bawa oleh [[Krisis kewangan merata dunia 2008–2009|krisis kewangan merata dunia]]. Bermula dengan keruntuhan [[Northern Rock]], yang diambil ke dalam [[pemilikan awam]] pada Februari 2008, bank lain harus menjadi sparuh dimiliknegarakan. [[Royal Bank of Scotland Group]], yang mana di puncaknya adalah bank terbesar kedua di UK dan kelima terbesar di dunia mengikut kapitalisasi pasar, telah secara berkesan dimiliknegarakan pada 13 Oktober 2008, apabila Kerajaan British mengumumkan ia akan
take a stake of up to 58% in the Group. By mid 2009, the HM Treasury had a 70.33% controlling shareholding in RBS, and a 43% shareholding through UK Financial Investments Limited of [[Lloyds Banking Group]], formerly the fifth largest banking group in the UK. This recession has seen unemployment rise substantially, from just over 1,600,000 in January 2008 [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7304330.stm] to nearly 2,500,000 in October 2009 [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8415683.stm] yet less so when comapared to countries such as Germany, France or Spain.
The UK economy had been one of the strongest EU economies in terms of [[ inflation]], [[ interest rate]] s and [[ unemployment]], all of which remained relatively low until the 2008-09 recession. Unemployment has since reached a peak of just under 2.5 million (7.8%), the highest level since early 1990s although this rate remains far lower than many other European nations. However, interest rates have been slashed to 0.5%. In 2007, according to the [[ International Monetary Fund]], the United Kingdom had the ninth highest level of [[ GDP per capita]] in the European Union in terms of purchasing power parity, after [[Luxembourg]], [[Ireland]], the [[ Netherlands]], [[Austria]], [[Denmark]], [[Sweden]], [[Belgium]] and [[Finland]]. However, in common with the economies of other [[ Anglosphere| English- speaking countries]], it has higher levels of [[ income inequality]] than many European countries. During August 2008 the IMF warned that the UK economic outlook had worsened due to a twin shock: financial turmoil as well as rising commodity prices.<ref>[http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/2008/CAR081108A.htm Twin Global Shocks Dent United Kingdom Outlook], IMF, August 11, 2008.</ref> Both developments harm the UK more than most developed countries, as the UK obtains revenue from exporting financial services while recording deficits in finished goods and commodities, including food.
In 2007, the UK had the [[ List of countries by current account balance| world's third largest current account deficit]], despite significant oil revenues, according to the IMF. This was mainly the result of a large deficit in the trade in manufactured goods. During May 2008, the IMF advised the UK government to broaden the scope of fiscal policy to promote external balance.<ref>[http://www.imf.org/external/np/ms/2008/052308.htm United Kingdom - 2008 Article IV Consultation Concluding Statement of the Mission], IMF, May 23, 2008.</ref> Although the UK's "labour productivity per person employed" has been progressing well over the last two decades and has overtaken productivity in the united Germany, it lags around 20% behind France's level, where workers have a 35 -hour working week.<ref>[http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page?_pageid=1996,39140985&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL&screen=detailref&language=en&product=STRIND_ECOBAC&root=STRIND_ECOBAC/ecobac/eb021 eurostat.ec.europa.eu] - Labour productivity per person employed</ref> The UK's " labour productivity per hour worked" is currently on a par with the average for the " old" EU (15 countries).<ref>[http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page?_pageid=1996,39140985&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL&screen=detailref&language=en&product=STRIND_ECOBAC&root=STRIND_ECOBAC/ecobac/eb022 eurostat.ec.europa.eu] - Labour productivity per hour worked</ref> The United Kingdom currently ranks 21st on the [[Human Development Index]].
==Recent economic performance ==
The UK entered a recession in Q2 of 2008, according to the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) and exited it in Q4 of 2009. The revised ONS figures of November 2009 showed that the UK had suffered six consecutive quarters of negative growth.<ref>Economy contracts by 0.3% in Q3 2009, http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=192</ref><ref>UK economy shrinks less than thought, BBC News, 25 November 2009, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8378129.stm</ref> As of the end of November 2009, the economy had shrunk by 4.9%, making the 2008-2009 recession the longest since records began.<ref>http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8594409.stm</ref> In December 2009, the Office of National Statistics revised figures for the third quarter of 2009 showed that the economy shrank by 0.2%, compared to a 0.6% fall the previous quarter.<ref name="statistics.gov.uk">http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=192, Office for National Statistics, accessed 23 October 2009</ref>.
In the 3 months to February 2010 the U.K. economy grew yet again by 0.4% <ref>http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8594409.stm</ref>