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    France Economy - 2003

      Economy - overview: France is in the midst of transition, from a well-to-do modern economy that featured extensive government ownership and intervention to one that relies more on market mechanisms. The Socialist-led government has partially or fully privatized many large companies, banks, and insurers, but still retains controlling stakes in several leading firms, including Air France, France Telecom, Renault, and Thales, and remains dominant in some sectors, particularly power, public transport, and defense industries. The telecommunications sector is gradually being opened to competition. France's 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 current government has lowered income taxes and introduced measures to boost employment. At the end of 2002 the government was focusing on the problems of the high cost of labor and labor market inflexibility resulting from the 35-hour workweek and restrictions on lay-offs. The government was also pushing for pension reforms and simplification of administrative procedures. The tax burden remains one of the highest in Europe. The current economic slowdown and inflexible budget items have thrown the government's goal of balancing the budget by 2004 off track.

      GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.54 trillion (2002 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate: 1% (2002 est.)

      GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $25,700 (2002 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 3%
      industry: 26%
      services: 71% (2002 est.)

      Population below poverty line: 6.4% (1999)

      Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.8%
      highest 10%: 25.1% (1995)

      Distribution of family income - Gini index: 32.7 (1995)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.8% (2002 est.)

      Labor force: 26.6 million (2001 est.)

      Labor force - by occupation: services 71%, industry 25%, agriculture 4% (1997)

      Unemployment rate: 9.1% (2002 est.)

      Budget: revenues: $286 billion
      expenditures: $330 billion, including capital expenditures of $23 billion (2002 est.)

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

      Industrial production growth rate: -0.3% (2002)

      Electricity - production: 520.1 billion kWh (2001)

      Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 8.2%
      hydro: 14%
      other: 0.7% (2001)
      nuclear: 77.1%

      Electricity - consumption: 415.3 billion kWh (2001)

      Electricity - exports: 72.6 billion kWh (2001)

      Electricity - imports: 4.2 billion kWh (2001)

      Oil - production: 34,920 bbl/day (2001 est.)

      Oil - consumption: 2.026 million bbl/day (2001 est.)

      Oil - exports: 409,600 bbl/day (2001)

      Oil - imports: 2.281 million bbl/day (2001)

      Oil - proved reserves: 144.3 million bbl (January 2002 est.)

      Natural gas - proved reserves: 12.86 billion cu m (January 2002 est.)

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

      Exports: $307.8 billion f.o.b. (2002)

      Exports - commodities: machinery and transportation equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel, beverages

      Exports - partners: EU 61.3% (Germany 14.7%, UK 9.8%, Spain 9.6%, Italy 8.8%), US 8.7% (2001)

      Imports: $303.7 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)

      Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, vehicles, crude oil, aircraft, plastics, chemicals

      Imports - partners: EU 58.6% (Germany 16.7%, Benelux 7.0%, Italy 9.1%, UK 7.5%), US 8.9% (2001)

      Debt - external: NA (1998)

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

      Currency: euro (EUR)
      note: on 1 January 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be used by financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002, the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions within the member countries

      Currency code: EUR

      Exchange rates: euros per US dollar - 1.0626 (2002), 1.1175 (2001), 1.0854 (2000), 0.9386 (1999)

      Fiscal year: calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding France on this page is re-published from the 2003 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Guinea Geography 2003 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about France Economy 2003 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 20-Sep-03
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