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France Economy Profile 2019

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Economy - overview

The 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. France is the most visited country in the world with 89 million foreign tourists in 2017. 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 1.9% 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 9.0% in 2017. Youth unemployment in metropolitan France decreased from 24.6% in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 20.6% in the fourth quarter of 2017.

France’s public finances have historically been strained by high spending and low growth. In 2017, the budget deficit improved to 2.7% of GDP, bringing it in compliance with the EU-mandated 3% deficit target. Meanwhile, France's public debt rose from 89.5% of GDP in 2012 to 97% in 2017.

Since entering office in May 2017, President Emmanuel MACRON launched a series of economic reforms to improve competitiveness and boost economic growth. President MACRON campaigned on reforming France’s labor code and in late 2017 implemented a range of reforms to increase flexibility in the labor market by making it easier for firms to hire and fire and simplifying negotiations between employers and employees. In addition to labor reforms, President MACRON’s 2018 budget cuts public spending, taxes, and social security contributions to spur private investment and increase purchasing power. The government plans to gradually reduce corporate tax rate for businesses from 33.3% to 25% by 2022.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$2.856 trillion (2017 est.)
$2.791 trillion (2016 est.)
$2.761 trillion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)
$2.588 trillion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
2.3% (2017 est.)
1.1% (2016 est.)
1% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$44,100 (2017 est.)
$43,200 (2016 est.)
$42,900 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Gross national saving
22.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
21.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
22.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 54.1% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 23.6% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 22.5% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 0.9% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 30.9% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -32% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 1.7% (2017 est.)
industry: 19.5% (2017 est.)
services: 78.8% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
14.2% (2015 est.)
Labor force
30.68 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 2.8% (2016 est.)
industry: 20% (2016 est.)
services: 77.2% (2016 est.)
Unemployment rate
9.4% (2017 est.)
10.1% (2016 est.)

note: includes overseas territories

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 22.3%
male: 23.1%
female: 21.3% (2017 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 3.6%
highest 10%: 25.4% (2013)
Distribution of family income - Gini index
29.3 (2016)
29.2 (2015)
Budget
revenues: 1.392 trillion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 1.459 trillion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
53.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-2.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt
96.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
96.6% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: data cover general government debt and include 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 intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental 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 rate
0% (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 rate
1.29% (31 December 2017 est.)
1.6% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$1.465 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
$1.465 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.139 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$4.334 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 - 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
2% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance
-$14.83 billion (2017 est.)
-$18.55 billion (2016 est.)
Exports
$549.9 billion (2017 est.)
$507 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
machinery and transportation equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel, beverages
Exports - partners
Germany 14.8%, Spain 7.7%, Italy 7.5%, US 7.2%, Belgium 7%, UK 6.7% (2017)
Imports
$601.7 billion (2017 est.)
$536.7 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
machinery and equipment, vehicles, crude oil, aircraft, plastics, chemicals
Imports - partners
Germany 18.5%, Belgium 10.2%, Netherlands 8.3%, Italy 7.9%, Spain 7.1%, UK 5.3%, US 5.2%, China 5.1% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$156.4 billion (31 December 2017 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
$858.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$807.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
$1.429 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.259 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange rates
euros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.885 (2017 est.)
0.903 (2016 est.)
0.9214 (2015 est.)
0.885 (2014 est.)
0.7634 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year
calendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on December 7, 2019

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