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An Example PEST Analysis of The UK

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PEST analyses are an approach to determining how favourable a company or venture’s circumstances are, through analysing the relevant Political, Economic, Social and Technological factors. However, did you know that you can also carry out a PEST analysis on a country? We’ve already done PEST analyses on plenty of countries from Singapore to Germany, but in this article we’ll focus on the United Kingdom — the joint nation composed of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Political Factors:

The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy that runs under the influence of a parliamentary system. The UK is said to be a fair, stable country with plenty of opportunities for those operating within, and the country as a whole. Here are a few of the positive and negative political factors:

Positive

  • Relatively ‘fair’ country, with the public having a large influence on the inner-workings
  • Proactive government [1]
  • Politically stable
  • Split into national and local administrations

Negative

  • Some well-hidden corruption [2]
  • Uncertainty in whether or not to stay in the EU, or leave (Brexit)

Economic Factors:

The UK also has a strong economic position relative to other countries. It has a high GDP, diverse economy, but also a few issues. Let’s take a look at all the economic factors in more depth, though.

Positive

  • 5th highest GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in the world, second in Europe only to Germany [3]
  • Large population allowing for even small markets to be profitable
  • Diversified economy with both large public and private sectors
  • Free market
  • Increasing Foreign Direct Investment [4]

Negative

  • Slow recovery from the 2008/2009 economic recession
  • Lots of money spent on providing free public services and financial aid, even for migrants

Social Factors:

Social factors are a deceptively important factor in any PEST analysis. There is no exception to this in the case of the UK, whose high social standards lead to better all-round circumstances. These factors are:

Positive

  • Many free public services (e.g. National Health Services)
  • Densely populated with 64.1 million inhabitants
  • Open to migration leading to a cosmopolitan environment with around 1 in every 8 residents born abroad [5] — this results in a large, cheap workforce
  • High standard of living

Negative

  • High and increasing dependency ratio
  • Some social unrest with regard to migration and ethnic groups
  • Ever-increasing further education costs

Technological Factors:

As an MEDC (More Economically Developed Country), the UK does have good access to technology. These are some of the most important technological factors affecting the United Kingdom:

Positive

  • Quality innovation skills
  • Expertise in science and IT
  • Effective laws with regard to intellectual property
  • Plenty of internal competition to stimulate growth

Negative

  • Slow technological development in comparison to the United States

In conclusion, the United Kingdom seems to be in good hands with regard to its future. The high social standards, relatively strong economy, political stability and technological advancements all suggest that growth in the UK is set to keep on advancing. Only time will tell, though, how well the United Kingdom does in coming years. What are your thoughts about the standings of the UK? Let us know below.

Image “UK” by Moyan Brenn is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Sources:

[1] http://www.transparency.org.uk/our-work/uk-corruption/

[2] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/18/corruption-rife-britain

[3] http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.CD?order=wbapi_data_value_2014+wbapi_data_value+wbapi_data_value-last&sort=desc

[4] https://en.santandertrade.com/establish-overseas/united-kingdom/foreign-investment

[5] http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/internationalmigration/articles/populationbycountryofbirthandnationalityreport/2015-09-27