France

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Economics

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. 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. France's 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. France has weathered the global economic crisis better than most other big EU economies because of the relative resilience of domestic consumer spending, a large public sector, and less exposure to the downturn in global demand than in some other countries. Nonetheless, France's real GDP contracted 2.5% in 2009, but recovered somewhat in 2010, while the unemployment rate increased from 7.4% in 2008 to 9.5% in 2010. The government pursuit of aggressive stimulus and investment measures in response to the economic crisis, however, are contributing to a deterioration of France's public finances. The government budget deficit rose sharply from 3.4% of GDP in 2008 to 6.9% of GDP in 2010, while France's public debt rose from 68% of GDP to 82% over the same period. Paris is terminating stimulus measures, eliminating tax credits, and freezing most government spending to bring the budget deficit under the 3% euro-zone ceiling by 2013, and to highlight France's commitment to fiscal discipline at a time of intense financial market scrutiny of euro zone debt levels. President SARKOZY - who secured passage of pension reform in 2010 - is expected to seek passage of some tax reforms in 2011, but he may delay additional, more costly, reforms until after the 2012 election.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

 

$2.145 trillion (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 10

$2.114 trillion (2009 est.)

$2.169 trillion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$2.583 trillion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

 

1.5% (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 159

-2.5% (2009 est.)

0.1% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$33,100 (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 39

$32,800 (2009 est.)

$33,900 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

 

agriculture: 1.7%

industry: 18.6%

services: 79.7% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

 

29.32 million (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 21

Labor force - by occupation:

 

agriculture: 3.8%

industry: 24.3%

services: 71.8% (2005)

Unemployment rate:

 

9.3% (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 104

9.1% (2009 est.)

Population below poverty line:

13.5% (2010)

Source: http://www.thelocal.fr/

Household income or consumption

by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 3%

highest 10%: 24.8% (2004)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

 

32.7 (2008)

country comparison to the world: 102

32.7 (1995)

Investment (gross fixed):

 

19.3% of GDP (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 125

Budget:

 

revenues: $1.26 trillion

expenditures: $1.44 trillion (2010 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:

 

48.8% of GDP (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 19

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

-7% of GDP (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 175

Public debt:

 

82.4% of GDP (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 18

79% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

 

1.7% (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 55

0.1% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

 

1.75% (31 December 2010)

country comparison to the world: 116

1.75% (31 December 2009)

note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

 

3.373% (31 December 2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 173

4.249% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

 

$887.3 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 7

$886.4 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

note: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 17 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders

Stock of broad money:

 

$2.336 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 8

$2.372 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$4.319 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 7

$4.121 trillion (31 December 2008 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

 

$1.926 trillion (31 December 2010)

country comparison to the world: 7

$1.972 trillion (31 December 2009)

$1.492 trillion (31 December 2008)

Agriculture - products:

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

Industries:

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

Industrial production growth rate:

 

5.1% (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 81

Electricity - production:

 

510 billion kWh (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 9

Electricity - consumption:

 

460.9 billion kWh (2008 est.)

country comparison to the world: 9

Electricity - exports:

44.91 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - imports:

25.7 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - production:

 

84,820 bbl/day (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 52

Oil - consumption:

 

1.861 million bbl/day (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 13

Oil - exports:

 

487,200 bbl/day (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 29

Oil - imports:

 

2.22 million bbl/day (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 9

Oil - proved reserves:

 

91.63 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 72

Natural gas - production:

 

721 million cu m (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 64

Natural gas - consumption:

49.78 billion cu m (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 16

Natural gas - exports:

2.945 billion cu m (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 33

Natural gas - imports:

 

46.2 billion cu m (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 6

Natural gas - proved reserves:

 

6.796 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 84

Current account balance:

 

-$54.4 billion (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 193

-$39.87 billion (2009 est.)

Exports:

 

$517.2 billion (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 6

$475.9 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

 

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

Exports - partners:

Germany 16.4%, Italy 8.2%, Belgium 7.7%, Spain 7.6%, UK 6.8%, US 5.1%, Netherlands 4.2% (2010)

Imports:

 

$588.4 billion (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 6

$535.8 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

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

Imports - partners:

Germany 19.3%, Belgium 11.4%, Italy 8%, Netherlands 7.5%, Spain 6.8%, China 5.1%, UK 5% (2010)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

 

$166.2 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 14

$133.1 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

 

$5.633 trillion (30 June 2011)

country comparison to the world: 4

$4.698 trillion (30 June 2010)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

 

$1.161 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 2

$1.128 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

 

$1.746 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 2

$1.662 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

 

euros (EUR) per US dollar -

0.755 (2010)

0.7198 (2009)

0.6827 (2008)

0.7345 (2007)

0.7964 (2006)