France Economy: from the All Country Info reference guide to country facts

France Economy

France Economy: A summary of information about France Economy, from government research data as well as independent research and other sources.

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France: Economy

Economy - overview
France's economy combines modern capitalistic
methods with extensive, but declining, government intervention. The
government retains considerable influence over key segments of each
sector, with majority ownership of railway, electricity, aircraft, and
telecommunication firms. It has been gradually relaxing its control
over these sectors since the early 1990s. The government is slowly
selling off holdings in France Telecom, in Air France, and in the
insurance, banking, and defense industries. Meanwhile, large tracts of
fertile land, the application of modern technology, and subsidies have
combined to make France the leading agricultural producer in Western
Europe. Persistently high unemployment will continue to pose a major
problem for the government; a 35-hour work week is being introduced.
France has shied away from cutting exceptionally generous social
welfare benefits or the enormous state bureaucracy, preferring to pare
defense spending and raise taxes to keep the deficit down. France
joined 10 other EU members to launch the euro on 1 January 1999.
GDP
purchasing power parity - $1.373 trillion (1999 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
2.7% (1999 est.)
GDP - per capita
purchasing power parity - $23,300 (1999 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 3.3%
industry: 26.1%
services: 70.6% (1998)
Population below poverty line
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 2.5%
highest 10%: 24.9% (1989)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
0.5% (1999 est.)
Labor force
25.4 million (1994)
Labor force - by occupation
services 69%, industry 26%, agriculture
5% (1995)
Unemployment rate
11% (1999 est.)
Budget
revenues: $325 billion
expenditures: $360 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA
(1999 est.)
Industries
steel, machinery, chemicals, automobiles, metallurgy,
aircraft, electronics, mining; textiles, food processing; tourism
Industrial production growth rate
2% (1999 est.)
Electricity - production
480.972 billion kWh (1998)
Electricity - production by source
fossil fuel: 10.77%
hydro: 12.45%
nuclear: 76.24%
other: 0.54% (1998)
Electricity - consumption
389.254 billion kWh (1998)
Electricity - exports
62 billion kWh (1998)
Electricity - imports
3.95 billion kWh (1998)
Agriculture - products
wheat, cereals, sugar beets, potatoes, wine
grapes; beef, dairy products; fish
Exports
$304.7 billion (f.o.b., 1999)
Exports - commodities
machinery and transportation equipment,
chemicals, iron and steel products; agricultural products, textiles
and clothing
Exports - partners
EU 63% (Germany 16%, UK 10%, Italy 9%, Spain 9%,
Belgium-Luxembourg 8%), US 7% (1998)
Imports
$280.8 billion (f.o.b., 1999)
Imports - commodities
crude oil, machinery and equipment, chemicals;
agricultural products
Imports - partners
EU 62% (Germany 17%, Italy 10%, Belgium-Luxembourg
8%, UK 8%, Spain 7%), US 9% (1998)
Debt - external
$117.6 billion (1996 est.)
Economic aid - donor
ODA, $6.3 billion (1997)
Currency
1 French franc (F) = 100 centimes
Exchange rates
euros per US$1 - 0.9867 (January 2000), 0.9386 (1999);
French francs (F) per US$1 - 5.65 (January 1999), 5.8995 (1998),
5.8367 (1997), 5.1155 (1996), 4.9915 (1995)
note: on 1 January 1999, the EU introduced a common currency that is
now being used by financial institutions in some member countries at a
fixed rate of 6.55957 French francs per euro; the euro will replace
the local currency in consenting countries for all transactions in
2002
Fiscal year
calendar year
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