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UK 'value' falls by £94 billion

The total value of the UK fell for the second year in a row during 2009, official figures showed today.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) - which adds up the value of infrastructure such as buildings and roads as well as financial assets - said the worth of the UK fell by £94 billion to £6.67 trillion last year, a decline of 1.4%.

It was the second successive year of falls after an unbroken sequence of growth stretching back to 1992 - although the decline was not as steep as the 4.3%, or £303 billion, slide in 2008.

Housing remained the UK's most valuable asset - up £126 billion or 3.2% to £4.05 trillion over the year and accounting for 61% of the country's net worth.

But this was more than offset by a £450 billion fall in the value of private non-financial businesses, while several other sectors such as central government also had a negative net worth, according to the ONS.

Civil engineering works were the most valuable category of physical asset behind housing - accounting for £725 billion or 10.9% of the country's net worth - although their value was £41 billion lower than in 2008.