Belfast Telegraph

Overall worth of the UK falls for second consecutive year

By Russell Lynch

The total value of the UK fell for the second year in a row during 2009, official figures showed.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) - which adds up the value of infrastructure such as buildings and roads as well as the country's financial assets - said the worth of the UK fell by £94bn to £6.67 trillion last year, a decline of 1.4%.

It was the second successive year of falls after an unbroken sequence of growth stretching back to 1992, although the decline was not as steep as the 4.3%, or £303bn, slide in 2008.

Housing remained the UK's most valuable asset, and was up £126bn, or 3.2%, to £4.05 trillion over the year, accounting for 61% of the country's net worth.

But this was more than offset by a £450bn fall in the value of private non-financial businesses, while several other sectors such as central government also had a negative net worth, according to the ONS.

Civil engineering works were the most valuable category of physical asset behind housing , accounting for £725bn, or 10.9%, of the country's net worth, although their value was £41bn lower than in 2008.