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Services, particularly banking, insurance, and business services, are key drivers of British GDP growth.

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Like its Western European neighbors, Germany faces significant demographic challenges to sustained long-term growth.

Low fertility rates and a large increase in net immigration are increasing pressure on the country's social welfare system and necessitate structural reforms.

The UK has an extensive trade relationship with other EU members through its single market membership and economic observers have warned the exit will jeopardize its position as the central location for European financial services.

The German economy - the fifth largest economy in the world in PPP terms and Europe's largest - is a leading exporter of machinery, vehicles, chemicals, and household equipment and benefits from a highly skilled labor force.

In 2008, the global financial crisis hit the economy particularly hard, due to the importance of its financial sector.

Falling home prices, high consumer debt, and the global economic slowdown compounded Britain's economic problems, pushing the economy into recession in the latter half of 2008 and prompting the then BROWN (Labour) government to implement a number of measures to stimulate the economy and stabilize the financial markets.

As Europe's largest economy and second most populous nation (after Russia), Germany is a key member of the continent's economic, political, and defense organizations.

European power struggles immersed Germany in two devastating World Wars in the first half of the 20th century and left the country occupied by the victorious Allied powers of the US, UK, France, and the Soviet Union in 1945.

Facing burgeoning public deficits and debt levels, in 2010 the then CAMERON-led coalition government (between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats) initiated an austerity program, which has continued under the new Conservative majority government.

However, the deficit still remains one of the highest in the G7, standing at 4.1% of GDP as of mid-2016, and Britain has pledged to lower its corporation tax from 20% to 17% by 2020.

A constitutional amendment approved in 2009 limits the federal government to structural deficits of no more than 0.35% of GDP per annum as of 2016, though the target was already reached in 2012.

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