French architecture in France

France Economy

France economic overview

Diverse economic structure:

France's economy—one of the world's largest—has a mixed structure, with a significant presence of both private and state-owned enterprises. Key sectors include manufacturing, particularly in automation, aerospace and luxury goods, services—notably in tourism and finance—and a robust agricultural sector, renowned for wine and dairy products.

Growing financial role:

Paris is one of the key financial centers in Europe—a role which has been strengthened since Brexit as some financial activity formerly in London shifted to Paris. Banks have reportedly relocated over 5000 employees from London to Paris since the UK left the EU.

A key EU player:

France is a founding member of the eurozone and has adopted the euro as its currency. The country is one of the leading voices in shaping EU policy, with the France-Germany political axis the bloc's most important driving force. President Macron—in office since 2017—has advocated closer EU integration and strategic independence from foreign powers. More recently, Macron has thrown his weight behind the idea of EU enlargement into southern and eastern Europe.

Liberalizing reforms:

Under President Macron, the French economy has been liberalized, with the labor market made less rigid, taxes cut, and unemployment insurance revamped. These measures have coincided with an acceleration in investment and the unemployment rate falling to an over-decade low in recent years. However, the changes have also provoked a backlash among large sectors of the population and generated significant social unrest. Some of the most high-profile protests were the "Yellow Vest" movement in 2018 and 2019, and the strikes over pension reform in 2023.

Multiple domestic challenges:

The public debt ratio is among the highest in the EU at well over 100% of GDP, posing a risk to fiscal stability. Moreover, public resistance to structural reforms is high, often resulting in widespread protests that hamper economic activity. Additionally, regional disparities in economic development and integration of immigrant populations into the labor market remain ongoing challenges.

France's economic outlook:

Our forecasts for the French economy are underwhelming, especially given the country's strong demographics and business-friendly reforms in recent years. The Consensus among our panelists is for GDP growth to merely track the Euro area average over our forecast horizon.

France's economy in numbers:

Nominal GDP of USD 2,773 billion in 2022.

GDP per capita of USD 42,244 compared to the global average of USD 10,589.

Average real GDP growth of 1% over the last decade.

Share of the region's population
Share of the region's GDP

Economic structure:

In 2021, services accounted for 82% of overall GDP, manufacturing 9%, other industrial activity 7%, and agriculture 2%. Looking at GDP by expenditure, private consumption accounted for 52% of GDP in 2021, government consumption 24%, fixed investment 25%, and net exports -1%.

GDP by economic sector
GDP by type of expenditure

International trade:

In 2021, manufactured products made up 76% of total merchandise exports, mineral fuels 3%, food 14%, ores and metals 3% and agricultural raw materials 1%, with other categories accounting for 3% of the total. In the same period, manufactured products made up 74% of total merchandise imports, mineral fuels 10%, food 10%, ores and metals 3% and agricultural raw materials 1%, with other goods accounting for 2% of the total. Total exports were worth USD 669 billion in 2022, while total imports were USD 813 billion.

Key exports
Key imports
Key export partners
Key import partners

Economic growth:

The economy recorded average annual growth of 1.0% in the decade to 2022. To read more about GDP growth in France, go to our dedicated page.

Fiscal policy:

France's fiscal deficit averaged 4.4% of GDP in the decade to 2022. Find out more on our dedicated page.

Unemployment:

The unemployment rate averaged 9.2% in the decade to 2022. For more information on France's unemployment click here.

Inflation:

Inflation averaged 1.6% in the decade to 2022. Go to our France inflation page for extra insight.

Monetary Policy:

Euro Area monetary policy rate ended 2022 at 2.50%, up from 0.75% a decade earlier. See our France monetary policy page for additional details.

Exchange Rate:

From end-2012 to end-2022 the euro weakened by 18.2% vs the U.S. dollar. For more info on the euro, click here.
After contracting in sequential terms in Q3, the economy likely stagnated in Q4. Economic sentiment remained pessimistic throughout the quarter, with gloomy consumers and plunging sentiment in the retail sector. Downbeat PMI data for January suggests that momentum remains sluggish at the outset of 2024. In other news, in early January, President Macron replaced Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne with 34-year-old former education minister Gabriel Attal. The change follows protracted legislative turmoil: the passing of controversial pension and immigration reforms and the frequent use of a constitutional clause allowing bills to be passed without a vote. There will be more cabinet changes in the coming weeks, but the government will continue to find it difficult to pursue its legislative agenda.
Projections out to 2033.

52 indicators covered including both annual and quarterly frequencies.

Consensus Forecasts based on a panel of 50 expert analysts.

Want to get insight on the economic outlook for France in the coming years? FocusEconomics collects projections out to 2033 on 52 economic indicators for France from a panel of 50 analysts at the leading national, regional and global forecast institutions. These projections are then validated by our in-house team of economists and data analysts, and averaged to provide one Consensus Forecast you can rely on for each indicator. This means you avoid the risk of relying on out of date, biased or outlier forecasts. Our Consensus Forecasts can be visualized in whichever way best suits your needs, including via interactive online dashboards , direct data delivery and executive-style reports which combine analysts' projections with timely written analysis from our in-house team of economists on the latest developments in the France economy. To download a sample report on the France's economy, click here . To get in touch with our team for more information, fill in the form at the bottom of this page .

France Economic Data

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Population (million) 64.8 65.1 65.3 65.5 65.6
GDP (EUR bn) 2,365 2,440 2,317 2,500 2,638
GDP per capita (EUR) 36,470 37,486 35,498 38,190 40,189
Economic Growth (Nominal GDP, ann. var. %) 2.8 3.2 -5.1 7.9 5.6
Economic Growth (GDP, ann. var. %) 1.8 1.9 -7.7 6.4 2.5
Domestic Demand (ann. var. %) 1.4 2.2 -6.4 6.0 3.1
Private Consumption (ann. var. %) 1.0 1.8 -6.7 5.1 2.1
Government Consumption (ann. var. %) 0.8 1.0 -4.2 6.5 2.6
Fixed Investment (ann. var. %) 3.2 4.1 -7.0 10.2 2.3
Exports (G&S, ann. var. %) 4.5 1.6 -17.1 10.7 7.4
Imports (G&S, ann. var. %) 2.9 2.5 -12.7 9.1 8.8
Industrial Production (ann. var. %) 0.7 0.6 -10.6 5.7 -0.1
Retail Sales (ann. var. %) 2.9 2.7 -2.4 10.3 3.4
Disposable Income (ann. var. %) 3.1 3.4 1.2 4.2 5.1
Unemployment (% of active population, eop) 8.8 8.2 7.9 7.4 7.2
Unemployment (% of active population, aop) 9.0 8.4 8.0 7.9 7.3
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP) -2.3 -3.1 -9.0 -6.5 -4.8
Public Debt (% of GDP) 97.8 97.4 114.6 112.9 111.8
Inflation (CPI, ann. var. %, eop) 1.6 1.5 0.0 2.8 5.9
Inflation (HICP, ann. var. %, eop) 1.9 1.6 0.0 3.4 6.7
Inflation (HICP, ann. var. %, aop) 2.1 1.3 0.5 2.1 5.9
Inflation (Core, ann. var. %, aop) 0.8 0.8 0.6 1.1 3.8
Inflation (PPI, ann. var. %, aop) 2.7 0.4 -2.2 9.3 25.5
ECB Refinancing Rate (%, eop) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 2.50
ECB Overnight Deposit Rate (%, eop) -0.40 -0.50 -0.50 -0.50 2.00
3-Month EURIBOR (%, eop) -0.31 -0.38 -0.55 -0.57 2.13
10-Year Bond Yield (%, eop) 0.71 0.11 -0.36 0.20 3.10
Stock Market (var. of CAC 40 %) -11.0 26.4 -7.1 28.9 -9.5
Exchange Rate (USD per EUR, eop) 1.14 1.12 1.22 1.14 1.07
Exchange Rate (USD per EUR, aop) 1.18 1.12 1.14 1.18 1.05
Current Account Balance (EUR bn) -19.6 12.5 -37.5 9.0 -53.9
Current Account Balance (% of GDP) -0.8 0.5 -1.6 0.4 -2.0
Merchandise Trade Balance (EUR bn) -51 -47 -58 -67 -137
Foreign Direct Investment (EUR bn) 36.6 11.7 9.3 27.2 34.1

Q&A:

  1. What is France's main economic sector?

  2. The main economic sector in France is the services sector, which accounts for about two-thirds of GDP. This includes activities such as retail, tourism, financial services, and government spending. However, industry also plays an important role in the economy.

  3. What is the future of the French economy?

  4. The economy is expected to grow in 2023 and 2024, and inflation is expected to come down from its current high levels. The government is also taking steps to reform the economy, which could help to boost growth in the long term. However, there are also some risks to the outlook, such as the war in Ukraine and flare-ups of social unrest.

  5. What is the richest region of France?

  6. The Île-de-France region, encompassing Paris and its surrounding areas, is the richest region in France. It is the country's economic powerhouse, contributing significantly to the national GDP, largely due to its dense population, high concentration of corporate headquarters, financial services, and its status as a global cultural and tourist destination.

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