London is one of the world's foremost financial, commercial, industrial, and cultural centers. The Bank of England, Lloyd's, the stock exchange, and numerous other banks and investment companies have their headquarters there, primarily in the City, but increasingly at Canary Wharf. The financial services sector is a major source of overall employment in London.
London still remains one of the world's greatest ports. It exports manufactured goods and imports petroleum, tea, wool, raw sugar, timber, butter, metals, and meat. Consumer goods, clothing, precision instruments, jewelry, and stationery are produced, but manufacturing has lost a number of jobs in the once-dominant textile, furniture, printing, and chemical-processing industries as firms have moved outside the area. Engineering and scientific research are also important to the economy, as is tourism. The city is a hub for road, rail, and air (its airports include Heathrow and Gatwick), and it is now linked to the Continent by a high-speed rail line under the English Channel.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.