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France - Open Map
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Economy

Economy - overview: France's economy combines modern capitalistic methods with extensive, but declining, government intervention. The government retains considerable influence over key segments of each sector, with majority ownership of railway, electricity, aircraft, and telecommunication firms. It has been gradually relaxing its control over these sectors since the early 1990s. The government is slowly selling off holdings in France Telecom, in Air France, and in the insurance, banking, and defense industries. Meanwhile, large tracts of fertile land, the application of modern technology, and subsidies have combined to make France the leading agricultural producer in Western Europe. Persistently high unemployment will continue to pose a major problem for the government; a 35-hour work week is being introduced. France has shied away from cutting exceptionally generous social welfare benefits or the enormous state bureaucracy, preferring to pare defense spending and raise taxes to keep the deficit down. France joined 10 other EU members to launch the euro on 1 January 1999.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.373 trillion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 2.7% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $23,300 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3.3%
industry: 26.1%
services: 70.6% (1998)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.5%
highest 10%: 24.9% (1989)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0.5% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 25.4 million (1994)

Labor force - by occupation: services 69%, industry 26%, agriculture 5% (1995)

Unemployment rate: 11% (1999 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $325 billion
expenditures: $360 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999 est.)

Industries: steel, machinery, chemicals, automobiles, metallurgy, aircraft, electronics, mining; textiles, food processing; tourism

Industrial production growth rate: 2% (1999 est.)

Electricity - production: 480.972 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 10.77%
hydro: 12.45%
nuclear: 76.24%
other: 0.54% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 389.254 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 62 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 3.95 billion kWh (1998)

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

Exports: $304.7 billion (f.o.b., 1999)

Exports - commodities: machinery and transportation equipment, chemicals, iron and steel products; agricultural products, textiles and clothing

Exports - partners: EU 63% (Germany 16%, UK 10%, Italy 9%, Spain 9%, Belgium-Luxembourg 8%), US 7% (1998)

Imports: $280.8 billion (f.o.b., 1999)

Imports - commodities: crude oil, machinery and equipment, chemicals; agricultural products

Imports - partners: EU 62% (Germany 17%, Italy 10%, Belgium-Luxembourg 8%, UK 8%, Spain 7%), US 9% (1998)

Debt - external: $117.6 billion (1996 est.)

Economic aid - donor: ODA, $6.3 billion (1997)

Currency: 1 French franc (F) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: euros per US$1 - 0.9867 (January 2000), 0.9386 (1999); French francs (F) per US$1 - 5.65 (January 1999), 5.8995 (1998), 5.8367 (1997), 5.1155 (1996), 4.9915 (1995)
note: on 1 January 1999, the EU introduced a common currency that is now being used by financial institutions in some member countries at a fixed rate of 6.55957 French francs per euro; the euro will replace the local currency in consenting countries for all transactions in 2002

Fiscal year: calendar year



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