The French economy in a few figures
- A service economy
France is small in size, but remains a world economic power and can pride itself on still being the top tourist destination in the world. In 2014 some 84.7 million visitors discovered the country. It’s hardly surprising that France is primarily a service economy. Accounting for 63% of jobs, the service sector is far larger than either the primary sector (agriculture and fishing, 4%) or industry (12%).
France is the sixth largest economic power in the world after the US, Japan, Germany, China and Great Britain. But it ranks just 20th in terms of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita, barely above the European average.
- The €uro, a single currency
In 2002 France adopted the €uro, the European single currency used today in 19 EU countries. Officially a €uro is worth 6.55957 French Francs (the country’s former currency). For the last few years the value of the €uro has tended to rise, thus curbing EU exports. This problem directly affects France, which still ranked sixth in the world among exporting countries in 2013.
- The cost of living remains reasonable
Although unemployment remains high (an average of 10.4% in 2014) and difficult to combat, France remains a rich country and claims that poverty levels have fallen by 60% over the last 30 years. The average monthly income was 1,675 €uros in 2014. In terms of the relationship between incomes and consumer prices, the cost of living is comparable to other countries in Western Europe. Note, however, that living in Paris can cost between 10 and 20% more than in the rest of France.
- Some sample prices