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    France Economy 1997

      Economy - overview One of the four West European trillion-dollar economies, the Frencheconomy features considerable state control over its capitalistic market system.In running important industrial segments (railways, airlines, electricity,telecommunications), administering an exceptionally generous social welfaresystem, and staffing an enormous bureaucracy, the state spends about 55% ofGDP. France has substantial agricultural resources and a diversified modern industrial sector. Large tracts of fertile land, the application of moderntechnology, and subsidies have combined to make it the leading agriculturalproducer in Western Europe. Largely self-sufficient in agricultural products,France is a major exporter of wheat and dairy products. The industrial sectorgenerates about one-quarter of GDP, and the growing services sector has becomecrucial to the economy. Following stagnation and recession in 1991-93, FrenchGDP expanded 2.4% in 1994 and in 1995 but at only 1.3% in 1996. Persistentlyhigh unemployment still poses a major problem for the government, as willthe need to cut back on government spending to keep the economy internationallycompetitive and enable France to qualify for European Economic and MonetaryUnion, slated to introduce a common European currency in January 1999. Thegovernment also has laid plans to sell off much of its stake in the telecommunicationsand defense industries in 1997 as part of its bid to make domestic companiesmore competitive with foreign rivals. However, the socialist victory at the polls in June 1997 casts doubt on France's future policy toward economicunion and privatization of domestic economic activity.

      GDP purchasing power parity - $1.22 trillion (1996 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate 1.3% (1996 est.)

      GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $20,900 (1996 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector
      agriculture: 2.4%
      industry: 26.5%
      services: 71.1% (1994)

      Inflation rate - consumer price index 1.7% (1996)

      Labor force
      total : 25.5 million
      by occupation: services 69%, industry 26%, agriculture 5% (1995)

      Unemployment rate 12.7% (1966)

      revenues: $250 billion
      expenditures: $300 billion, including capital expenditures of $34 billion (1996 est.)

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

      Industrial production growth rate 0.6% (1996 est.)

      Electricity - capacity 102.94 million kW (1994)

      Electricity - production 492.7 billion kWh (1995)

      Electricity - consumption per capita 6,278 kWh (1995 est.)

      Agriculture - products wheat, cereals, sugar beets, potatoes, wine grapes; beef, dairy products;fish catch of 850,000 metric tons ranks among world's top 20 countries andis all used domestically

      total value: $275 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
      commodities: machinery and transportation equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs, agriculturalproducts, iron and steel products, textiles and clothing
      partners: Germany 17%, Italy 9%, UK 9%, Spain 8%, Belgium-Luxembourg 8%, US 6%,Netherlands 4.5%, Japan 2%, Russia 0.7% (1996)

      total value: $255.5 billion f.o.b., 1996)
      commodities: crude oil, machinery and equipment, agricultural products, chemicals,iron and steel products
      partners: Germany 17%, Italy 10%, US 8%, Belgium-Luxembourg 8%, UK 8%, Spain 7%,Netherlands 5%, Japan 3%, Russia 1.5% (1996)

      Debt - external $117.6 billion (1996 est.)

      Economic aid
      donor : ODA, $7.915 billion (1993)

      Currency 1 French franc (F) = 100 centimes

      Exchange rates French francs (F) per US$1 - 5.4169 (January 1997), 5.1155 (1996), 4.9915(1995), 5.5520 (1994), 5.6632 (1993), 5.2938 (1992)

      Fiscal year calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding France on this page is re-published from the 1997 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of France Economy 1997 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about France Economy 1997 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 06-Mar-02
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