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France Economy Profile 2018

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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 1.6% in 2017, up from 1.2% the year before. The unemployment rate (including overseas territories) increased from 7.8% in 2008 to 10.2% in 2015, before falling to 9.5% in 2017. 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 Francois 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 3.1% of GDP in 2017. Meanwhile, France's public debt rose from 89.5% of GDP in 2012 to 96.1% in 2017.

President HOLLANDE’s policies 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)$2.826 trillion (2017 est.)
$2.783 trillion (2016 est.)
$2.75 trillion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$2.575 trillion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate1.6% (2017 est.)
1.2% (2016 est.)
1.1% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$43,600 (2017 est.)
$43,100 (2016 est.)
$42,700 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving22.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
22% of GDP (2016 est.)
22.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 54.8%
government consumption: 23.5%
investment in fixed capital: 22%
investment in inventories: 1.3%
exports of goods and services: 30.3%
imports of goods and services: -32% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 1.6%
industry: 19.4%
services: 78.9% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line14% (2013 est.)
Labor force30.68 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 2.4%
industry: 18.3%
services: 79.3% (2015 est.)
Unemployment rate9.5% (2017 est.)
10% (2016 est.)
note: includes overseas territories
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 24.6%
male: 25%
female: 24% (2016 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: $1.334 trillion
expenditures: $1.412 trillion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues51.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
Public debt96.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
96.4% of GDP (2016 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)1.2% (2017 est.)
0.3% (2016 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 rate1.4% (31 December 2017 est.)
1.6% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$1.372 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.139 trillion (31 December 2016 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$2.338 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.982 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$4.225 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.646 trillion (31 December 2016 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 rate1.1% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance-$28.92 billion (2017 est.)
-$24.66 billion (2016 est.)
Exports$541.3 billion (2017 est.)
$507 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiesmachinery and transportation equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel, beverages
Exports - partnersGermany 16%, Spain 7.6%, US 7.3%, Italy 7.2%, UK 7%, Belgium 6.8% (2016)
Imports$576.3 billion (2017 est.)
$536.7 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, vehicles, crude oil, aircraft, plastics, chemicals
Imports - partnersGermany 19.3%, Belgium 10.6%, Netherlands 7.9%, Italy 7.8%, Spain 7%, US 5.8%, China 5.1%, UK 4.2% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$146.8 billion (31 December 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$842.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$807.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$1.452 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.379 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange rateseuros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.906 (2017 est.)
0.9214 (2016 est.)
0.9214 (2015 est.)
0.885 (2014 est.)
0.7634 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on January 20, 2018

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