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Introduction - France:
Location - France:
People - France:
Government - France:
Economy - France:

Economy overview

France is in the midst of transition from a well-to-do modern economy that has featured extensive government ownership and intervention to one that relies more on market mechanisms. The government has partially or fully privatized many large companies, banks, and insurers, and has ceded stakes in such leading firms as Air France, France Telecom, Renault, and Thales. It maintains a strong presence in some sectors, particularly power, public transport, and defense industries. The telecommunications sector is gradually being opened to competition. Frances leaders remain committed to a capitalism in which they maintain social equity by means of laws, tax policies, and social spending that reduce income disparity and the impact of free markets on public health and welfare. The government in 2006 focused on introducing measures that attempt to boost employment through increased labor market flexibility; however, the population has remained opposed to labor reforms, hampering the governments ability to revitalize the economy. The tax burden remains one of the highest in Europe (nearly 50% of GDP in 2005). The lingering economic slowdown and inflexible budget items probably pushed the budget deficit above the eurozones 3%-of-GDP limit in 2006; unemployment hovers near 9%. With at least 75 million foreign tourists per year, France is the most visited country in the world and maintains the third largest income in the world from tourism.

Gdp purchasing power parity

$1.891 trillion (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate

$2.149 trillion (2006 est.)

Gdp real growth rate

2.1% (2006 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp

$31,100 (2006 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 2.2% industry: 20.6% services: 77.2% (2006 est.)

Labor force

27.88 million (2006 est.)

Labor force by occupation

agriculture: 4.1%
industry: 24.4%
services: 71.5% (1999)

Unemployment rate

8.7% (December 2006 est.)

Population below poverty line

6.2% (2004)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3% highest 10%: 24.8% (2004)

Distribution of family income gini index

26.7 (2002)

Inflation rate consumer prices

1.5% (2006 est.)

Investment gross fixed

20% of GDP (2006 est.)


revenues: $1.15 trillion
expenditures: $1.211 trillion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)

Public debt

64.7% of GDP (2006 est.)

Agriculture products

wheat, cereals, sugar beets, potatoes, wine grapes; beef, dairy products; fish


machinery, chemicals, automobiles, metallurgy, aircraft, electronics; textiles, food processing; tourism

Industrial production growth rate

0.2% (2006 est.)

Electricity production

549.4 billion kWh (2005)

Electricity consumption

482.4 billion kWh (2005)

Electricity exports

68.3 billion kWh (2005)

Electricity imports

8 billion kWh (2005)

Oil production

73,500 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil consumption

1.97 million bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil exports

474,200 bbl/day (2005)

Oil imports

1.89 million bbl/day (2005)

Oil proved reserves

159 million bbl (1 January 2006)

Natural gas production

1.4 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption

45.41 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas exports

770 million cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas imports

44.78 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas proved reserves

341 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Current account balance

-$38 billion (2006 est.)


$490 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Exports commodities

machinery and transportation equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel, beverages

Exports partners

Germany 15.6%, Spain 9.6%, Italy 8.9%, UK 8.2%, Belgium 7.2%, US 6.7%, Netherlands 4% (2006)


$529.1 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Imports commodities

machinery and equipment, vehicles, crude oil, aircraft, plastics, chemicals

Imports partners

Germany 19%, Belgium 11%, Italy 8.3%, Spain 7%, Netherlands 6.7%, UK 6.5%, US 4.6% (2006)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$98.54 billion (2006 est.)

Economic aid donor

ODA, $10.1 billion (2006)

Debt external

$3.461 trillion (30 June 2006)

Currency code

euro (EUR)
note: on 1 January 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be used by financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002, the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions within the member countries

Exchange rates

euros per US dollar - 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002)

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This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>

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