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France Economy Profile 2017

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Economy - overviewThe French economy is diversified across all sectors. The government has partially or fully privatized many large companies, including Air France, France Telecom, Renault, and Thales. However, the government maintains a strong presence in some sectors, particularly power, public transport, and defense industries. Despite terrorist attacks, labor strikes, and bad weather, France is still the most visited country in the world with 83 million foreign tourists in 2016, including 530,000 who came for the 2016 Euro Cup. France's leaders remain committed to a capitalism in which they maintain social equity by means of laws, tax policies, and social spending that mitigate economic inequality.

France's real GDP grew by 1.1% in 2016, down from 1.3% the year before. The unemployment rate (including overseas territories) increased from 7.8% in 2008 to 10.2% in 2015, before slightly falling to 10% in 2016. Youth unemployment in metropolitan France decreased from 24.6% in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 24% in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Lower-than-expected growth and high spending have strained France's public finances. Despite measures to restore public finances since President Fran�ois HOLLANDE took office in 2012, the budget deficit rose from 3.3% of GDP in 2008 to 7.5% of GDP in 2009 before improving to 3.4% of GDP in 2016. Meanwhile, France's public debt rose from 89.5% of GDP in 2012 to 96% in 2016.

President HOLLANDE’s policies have aimed to enhance French industry’s competitiveness and to lower high jobless figures. The Competitiveness and Employment Tax Credit of 2012, the Responsibility and Solidarity Pact of 2014, the Investment Stimulus Plan, and the Emergency Jobs Plan represent more than $42.6 billion in support for businesses in 2017 by lowering French labor costs, but so far the results of these policies have been marginal on France’s competitiveness and job creation. In an effort to bolster social justice, the 2017 budget bill contained provisions to reduce income taxes for households and for small and medium sized enterprises.

During his mandate, President HOLLANDE oversaw two highly unpopular economic reforms that led to widespread protests. The “Macron Law” of 2015, enacted to boost economic growth, authorized businesses to open some Sundays of each month and allowed flexibility to negotiate pay and working hours. The “El Khomri law,” imposed by decree in 2016, aimed to make it easier for businesses to employ people and gave employers more leeway to negotiate hours, wages, and time off.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$2.699 trillion (2016 est.)
$2.67 trillion (2015 est.)
$2.667 trillion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$2.488 trillion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate1.1% (2016 est.)
1.3% (2015 est.)
0.6% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$42,400 (2016 est.)
$42,000 (2015 est.)
$41,700 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving21.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
22.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
21.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 53.5%
government consumption: 26.4%
investment in fixed capital: 21.8%
investment in inventories: 1.3%
exports of goods and services: 30.4%
imports of goods and services: -33.4% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 1.7%
industry: 19.4%
services: 78.8% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line14% (2013 est.)
Labor force30.48 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 2.4%
industry: 18.3%
services: 79.3% (2015 est.)
Unemployment rate9.7% (2016 est.)
10.1% (2015 est.)
note: includes overseas territories
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 23.2%
male: 24.1%
female: 22.1% (2014 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 3.6%
highest 10%: 25.4% (2013)
Distribution of family income - Gini index29.2 (2015)
30.5 (2012)
Budgetrevenues: $1.308 trillion
expenditures: $1.392 trillion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues52.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt96% of GDP (2016 est.)
95.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
Inflation rate (consumer prices)0.3% (2016 est.)
0.1% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate0% (31 December 2016)
0.05% (31 December 2015)
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 rate2% (31 December 2016 est.)
1.93% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$1.144 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.079 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 18 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$2.541 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$2.771 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$3.64 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.528 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$1.591 trillion (31 March 2017 est.)
$2.088 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$2.086 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
Agriculture - productswheat, cereals, sugar beets, potatoes, wine grapes; beef, dairy products; fish
Industriesmachinery, chemicals, automobiles, metallurgy, aircraft, electronics; textiles, food processing; tourism
Industrial production growth rate0.5% (2016 est.)
Current Account Balance-$26.85 billion (2016 est.)
-$4.832 billion (2015 est.)
Exports$489.1 billion (2016 est.)
$493.6 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesmachinery and transportation equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel, beverages
Exports - partnersGermany 16.1%, Spain 7.5%, US 7.4%, Italy 7.3%, UK 7%, Belgium 6.8% (2016)
Imports$561 billion (2016 est.)
$563.4 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, vehicles, crude oil, aircraft, plastics, chemicals
Imports - partnersGermany 16.9%, China 9.1%, Italy 7.5%, US 7%, Belgium 6.7%, Spain 6.4%, Netherlands 6%, UK 4.3% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$153.9 billion (29 April 2016 est.)
$138.2 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$5.36 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
$5.25 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$796.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$772 billion (2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$1.339 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.314 trillion (2015 est.)
Exchange rateseuros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.9214 (2016 est.)
0.885 (2015 est.)
0.885 (2014 est.)
0.7634 (2013 est.)
0.7752 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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