About France and Key Financial Statistics

About France and Key Financial Statistics

Overview of Economy:

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. With more than 84 million foreign tourists per year, France is the most visited country in the world and maintains the third largest income in the world from tourism. 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 increased by 0.4% in 2014. The unemployment rate (including overseas territories) increased from 7.8% in 2008 to 10.4% in the fourth quarter of 2014. Youth unemployment in metropolitan France decreased from a high of 25.4% in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 24.3% in the fourth quarter of 2014. Lower-than-expected growth and high spending have strained France's public finances. The budget deficit rose sharply from 3.3% of GDP in 2008 to 7.5% of GDP in 2009 before improving to 4% of GDP in 2014, while France's public debt rose from 68% of GDP to more than 95% in 2014, and may hit 100% by 2016. Elected on a conventionally leftist platform, President Francois HOLLANDE surprised and angered many supporters with a January 2014 speech announcing a sharp change in his economic policy, recasting himself as a liberalizing reformer. The government's budget for 2014 shifted the balance of fiscal consolidation from taxes to a total of $24 billion in spending cuts. In December 2014, HOLLANDE announced additional reforms, including a plan to extend commercial business hours, liberalize professional services, and sell off $6.2-12.4 billion in state owned assets. France’s tax burden remains well above the EU average and income tax cuts over the past decade are being partly reversed, particularly for higher earners. The top rate of income tax is 41%. The government is allowing a 75% payroll tax on salaries over $1.24 million to lapse.

Gross Domestic Product (In USD):

$2.591 trillion (2014 est.)

$2.587 trillion (2013 est.)

$2.57 trillion (2012 est.)

Composition of Gross Domestic Product:

% Agricuture: 1.7

% Industry: 19.4

% Services: 78.9

Composition of Labor Force by Occupation:

% Agriculture: 3

% Industry: 21.3

% Services: 75.7

Per Capita Income:

$40,500 (2014 est.)

$40,500 (2013 est.)

$40,200 (2012 est.)


$584.5 billion (2014 est.)

$582.5 billion (2013 est.)

Key Export Commodities:

machinery and transportation equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel, beverages

Export Partners:

Germany 16.9%, Belgium 7.5%, Italy 7.4%, Spain 7.3%, UK 7.2%, US 5.8%, Netherlands 4.1% (2014)


$631.1 billion (2014 est.)

$639.6 billion (2013 est.)

Key Import Commodities:

machinery and equipment, vehicles, crude oil, aircraft, plastics, chemicals

Import Partners:

Germany 19.9%, Belgium 11.4%, Italy 7.8%, Netherlands 7.7%, Spain 6.7%, China 5%, UK 4.4% (2014)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Price Index):

0.6% (2014 est.)

1% (2013 est.)

Exchange Rate to USD:

euros (EUR) per US dollar -

0.7489 (2014 est.)

0.7634 (2013 est.)

0.7752 (2012 est.)

0.7185 (2011 est.)

0.755 (2010 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

10.2% (2014 est.)

10.3% (2013 est.)

S&P Rating:

Standard & Poor's Ratings:

    • AAA: The best quality borrowers, reliable and stable

    • AA: Quality borrowers, a bit higher risk than AAA

    • A: Economic situation can affect finance

    • BBB: Medium class borrowers, which are satisfactory at the moment

    • BB: More prone to changes in the economy

    • B: Financial situation varies noticeably

    • CCC: An obligor rated currently vulnerable, and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions to meet its financial commitments.

Ref 2012-2014: CIA World Factbook, Wikipedia, PWC, EY, Standard & Poors ratings