Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Should I buy 7.9 trillion tins of Imperial Beluga caviar, 2.5 trillion pints of beer, or an island?

For a cool 8.8 trillion dollars, all Britain can be yours...

LONDON (AFP) - Want to buy a largish island off France? Slightly used, with annex. Rains a bit. Trains often late. Nice gardens. Food dubious, but lots of places to drink.

Yours for under five trillion pounds. Or 7.1 trillion euros. Or 8.8 trillion dollars.

If the 58,789,194 occupants ever care to sell, that is.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) whipped up a price tag for the United Kingdom -- that's Britain, comprising England, Wales, Scotland, plus Northern Ireland -- in a year-end tally of the nation's capital assets.

The precise figure is 4.983 trillion pounds, or 84,760.47 pounds for every man, woman and child as of April 2001.

The value of buildings, vehicles, machinery, bridges, roads, shares and bank accounts are included in the total, which is based on 2002 data.

"We found that five trillion pounds was the current market value of the United Kingdom, including the value of the land," said ONS statistician Ian Hill.

"That's risen a lot over the last few years because property prices have shot up," with the value of people's homes doubling since 1994, he said.

The estimate is the first of its kind in terms of detail from the ONS, a British government agency, and is based on a "much more robust system" of analysing investment data, Hill said.

"Economists use this information to look at wealth, and is particularly interesting for looking at household wealth," he said. "It helps them make well-founded predictions of what is going to happen in the future."

  • Agence France Presse story at Yahoo.com
  • Links to this post:

    Create a Link

    << Home