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Understand the nature of the national environment in which businesses operate

Economic systems: the allocation of scarce resources; effective use of resources; type of economic system eg command, free enterprise, mixed, transitional

The UK economy: size (gross domestic product, gross national product); structure; population; labour force; growth; inflation; balance of payments; balance of trade; exchange rates; trading partners; public finances (revenues, expenditure); taxation; government borrowing; business behaviour eg investment, objectives, risk awareness; cost of capital; consumer behaviour; propensity to save; propensity to spend; tastes and preferences

Government policy: economic goals; fiscal policy: control of aggregate demand; central and local government spending; Public Sector Net Borrowing (PSNB) and Public Sector Net Cash Requirement (PSNCR); euro convergence criteria, monetary policy; interest rates; quantitative easing; private finance initiative (PFI); competition policy (up-to-date legislation including Competition Act 1998, Enterprise Act 2002); Competition Commission, Office of Fair Trading; Directorate General for Competition); European Commission); sector regulators eg Ofgem, Ofwat, Civil Aviation Authority; Companies Acts; regional policy; industrial policy; enterprise strategy; training and skills policy

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