The Economy of France

Key Indicators

  2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
GDP $2.60T $2.87T $2.66T $2.56T $2.59T
Unemployment Rate 8.34% 7.83% 9.43% 9.81% 9.79%
Population 61.96M 62.30M 62.63M 62.96M 63.24M

Featured Economic Indicators [ View all 1100 Economic Indicators ]

Gross Domestic Product (Percent change) Gross Domestic Product (U.S. dollars)
Per Capita Gross Domestic Product  (U.S. dollars) GDP (Purchasing Power Parity) (Current international dollar)
Investment (Percent of GDP) Gross national savings (Percent of GDP)
Inflation average consumer prices (Index) Inflation average consumer prices (Percent change)
Inflation (Index) Inflation (Percent change)
Unemployment rate (Percent of total labor force) Labor Force (Persons)
Population (Persons) Government revenue (National currency)
Government revenue (Percent of GDP) Government expenditure (Percent of GDP)
Government net lending/borrowing (Percent of GDP) Government structural balance (Percent of potential GDP)
Government primary net lending/borrowing (Percent of GDP) Government net debt (Percent of GDP)
Government gross debt (Percent of GDP) Current account balance (U.S. dollars)
Current account balance (Percent of GDP)  

Economic Overview of France

France Map
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. The telecommunications sector is gradually being opened to competition. Frances 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. The government in 2006 focused on introducing measures that attempt to boost employment through increased labor market flexibility; however, the population has remained opposed to labor reforms, hampering the governments ability to revitalize the economy. The tax burden remains one of the highest in Europe (nearly 50% of GDP in 2005). The lingering economic slowdown and inflexible budget items probably pushed the budget deficit above the eurozones 3%-of-GDP limit in 2006; unemployment hovers near 9%. With at least 75000000 foreign tourists per year, France is the most visited country in the world and maintains the third largest income in the world from tourism.

Nation History

France Map
Although ultimately a victor in World Wars I and II, France suffered extensive losses in its empire, wealth, manpower, and rank as a dominant nation-state. Nevertheless, France today is one of the most modern countries in the world and is a leader among European nations. Since 1958, it has constructed a presidential democracy resistant to the instabilities experienced in earlier parliamentary democracies. In recent years, its reconciliation and cooperation with Germany have proved central to the economic integration of Europe, including the introduction of a common exchange currency, the euro, in January 1999. At present, France is at the forefront of efforts to develop the EUs military capabilities to supplement progress toward an EU foreign policy.

Source(s): CIA World Factbook