The economy of the United Kingdom is that of a major developed capitalist economy. The United Kingdom is one of the world's most globalised countries. The British economy is made up of the economies of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In 1973, the UK acceded to the European Economic Community which is now known as the European Union after the ratification of the Treaty of Maastricht in 1993. The UK economy had been one of the strongest EU economies in terms of inflation, interest rates and unemployment, all of which remained relatively low until the 2008-09 recession, when unemployment rose dramatically, and interest rates fell to 0.5%.
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands county of England. Birmingham grew to prominence as a manufacturing and engineering centre, however its economy today is dominated by the service sector, which in 2003 accounted for 78% of the city's economic output and 97% of its economic growth. Tourism is also an increasingly important part of the local economy. With major facilities such as the International Convention Centre and National Exhibition Centre the Birmingham area accounts for 42% of the UK conference and exhibition trade.
Birmingham has an overall cost of living index which equates it with high cost of living locations. The overall cost of living index is comprised of the prices for defined quantities of the same goods and services across all 13 Basket Groups.
The latest cost of living rank for each of the 13 Basket Groups is now available.