The fifth-largest economy in the world is France and in 2009, the country had a GDP of $2.66 trillion. France has substantial resources ranging from agriculture, industrial and skilled human resource. The GDP of France flourished during 2010 after shrinking in 2009 as earlier projected by the International Monetary Fund (IMF); the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; and the European Commission. The economic strategy of France aims at backing up local development and investment in a politically, budgetary and economically stable atmosphere. The France government is keen on creating jobs and cutting down unemployment rate. France and other 10 European Union nations adopted the Euro as their major currency in 1999 (CIA World Factbook, 2010).
France is geographically located in West of Europe bordering Belgium, Spain, Germany, and Switzerland. France is the largest of all EU states and has a well-founded economy. The citizens of France pride great standards of living. Due to its rich and wide culture, France gets about 82 million tourists annually, thus tourism is amongst the major economic contributors in the country. In 2011, France's 16.8% consists of people of 65 years or more, translating to 6,328,834 females and 4,578,089 males; while 64.7%, or 21,045,867 females and 21,082,175 males comprise of ages 15-64 years. The 0-14 year olds comprise of 18.5%, which equals 6,180,905 males and 5,886,849 females. The birth rate of France in 2011 is about 1.229 births percent; while the mortality rate is estimated at 0.876. Although the country's official language is French, there are other minor vernaculars dialects such as Corsican, Breton, Catalan, and Flemish (CIA World Factbook, 2010).
France's economy comes fifth in the world, behind the United States, Japan, China and Germany. The country is the eighth biggest by PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) globally. In Europe, France's economy is the second biggest behind Germany and the fourth biggest Purchasing Power Parity behind Germany, the UK and Russia (Smith, 2004). According to National Institution of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), France's economy in 2009 was worsening with the GDP dropping by 1.2% in the first quarter. France government's spending in 2001 was the highest in the G-7, constituting of 53% of the GDP. The working conditions and pays in France are very organized; with the government having possession of shares in many corporations across all sectors, such as energy production, banking, transportation, and telecommunications (Edgar, & Showick, 2011; Marcello, Nigar, & International Monetary Fund, 2002).
The economy of France averagely grows at about the anticipated rate for a developed European nation. The country's economic growth rate has been static over the years, which can be attributed to the more consolidated conservative planning of the economy, compared to other European countries. One of the unique features in the economy of France compared to other European nations is the governmental control level of the country's economic industries.
By the year 2009, the GDP of France was $2.66 trillion and an average annual growth rate of 2.5% (CIA, 2009). France's earnings come from its agricultural activities, such as sugar beets, wines, grains, milk products, poultry, meat, fruits and vegetables. In addition, the country's workforce engages in many local productions industries such as aircraft, chemicals, electronics, transportation, clothing and textiles, and food processing. The rest of the workforce makes a living through their work in companies that provide services individuals, commercial firms, realty, and tourism.
France's exports in 2009 amounted to $482.3 billion. These exports were mainly from automobile, pharmaceuticals, aircraft plastics, iron and steel, petroleum products, electronics, wines and champagne (CIA, 2010). Then again, in 2009, France's imports totaled to $543.5 billion, and consisted mainly of natural gas, petroleum automobiles, aircrafts, refined petroleum products, computers, pharmaceuticals, and iron and steel products. The main trade partners of France are the European Union and the United States (CIA 2009). France is the sixth largest export trader in the world and fifth import trader. Due to its well-developed economy, France's trade mainly involves raw materials and manufactured goods. In Western Europe, France is the second largest trader. In 2009, France-United States trade products and services were approximately 154 billion. Many French importers interests in the US trade is driven by aircraft engines, electronics and computers, software and hardware, and scientific and broadcast equipment (CIA 2009).
The current unemployment rate in France is between 12% and 15%, which is relatively high for a Western Europe nation. Most of the jobless people in France emanate from the marginalized communities like North Africans and Sub-Saharan Africans. The high unemployment rate is very evident amongst young indigenous males living in the suburbs of France's cities. This joblessness rate has added to the increase in tension between the small indigenous communities and the rest France's population (OECD, 2010).
The rate of inflation represents the overall heightening in value prices against the average amount of purchasing power. Regulation of oil prices and effects continue to cause the inflation rate in France to reduce in the first half of 2009. In 2011, the inflation rate in France was standing at 1.70% (Trading Economics, 2010a). In over the last 50 years, the average inflation rate of France has been about 4.93%; getting to a momentous highest in 1958 when it hit 18.80% and getting outstandingly low in 2009 when it hit 0.70%. The French Consumer Price Index (CPI) shows that there has been a change in prices of usual goods and services that are consumed by French families.
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France uses the euro as the country's major currency and the country is a signatory of the Euro Area-a currency union amongst EU members who use the euro as their official currency. After the Bretton Woods system collapsed in 1973, conventional economic expert have maintained the view that, exchange rates ought to be waivered in a laissez-faire market since it is effective. Within the months of 2011, the Euro Exchange Rate devalued by 3.29%. The Euro hit its highest point in April 2008 at 1.60, and its lowest in February 1985 at 0.64 (Trading Economics, 2010b).
In history, interest rate levels in France are relatively less compared to other countries of such as the Unite Kingdom. For instance, for a loan of €100,000 earning an interest rate of 2%, a borrower will pay about £1000 annually, which is less with a French security interest.
France economy is now a secure European affair since joining the common exchange efforts in Europe. France has started to secure the benefits of a major market by having a huge volume of FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) and dealing its agricultural goods. Besides, in addition, the French government's liberalization and privatization has increased trust in the country's markets and consequently enhanced the government's efficiency. The Central Bank in France predicted growth of the economy by 0.8% in the first quarter of 2011.