EC Harris report puts UK 11th in world ranking of built asset value

High speed Javelin train at Ashford station, HS2

Source: TheJRB

The UK is languishing behind its rivals in terms of the total value of its built assets, according to a new report by EC Harris.

The report, developed with the Centre for Economic and Business Research, placed the UK 11th in the world with £3.6tn worth of infrastructure and property assets.

EC Harris noted the UK performs poorly on this measure compared to the size of its economy, which at £1.6tn in 2012 was the sixth largest in the world.

The UK also performed poorly in terms of built asset wealth per person (£58,000), ranking it 15th in the world, behind countries including France, Germany and Spain.

Simon Rawlinson, head of strategic research and insight at EC Harris, said: “The UK needs to continue to invest in new and existing built assets to improve mobility, productivity and standard of living, but does not have the available finance to do so. 

“It needs to make best use of its existing asset base to develop new sources of competitive advantage.

He added: “Indicators like GDP and unemployment, which are traditionally used to define a country’s performance, only tell one side of the story. 

“While GDP quantifies national income, our analysis of the total stock of built assets provides an indication of accumulated wealth and the resources which can be drawn upon to fuel future economic growth. 

“The UK’s relative low position in the global rankings raises questions, therefore, about how well placed it is to deliver growth.”

USA came top of the built asset wealth table, although the report noted second placed China could overtake it as early as next year.

The full report is attached to this story.

RankingCountryBuilt Asset Wealth US$ / (£)
1USA39.7tn (£26tn)
2China35.4tn (£23.5tn)
3Japan18.2tn (£12.1tn)
4India11.8tn (£7.8tn)
5Germany10.4tn (£6.9tn)
6France7.8tn (£5.2tn)
7Italy7.4tn (£4.9tn)
8South Korea6tn (£4tn)
9Russia5.9tn (£3.9tn)
10Spain5.9tn (£3.9tn)
 Selected others… 
11UK5.5tn (£3.6tn)
13Brazil4.8tn (£3.2tn)
25UAE1tn (£0.7tn)
29Chile0.7tn (£0.5tn)
30Qatar0.3tn (£0.2tn)