France flag France: Economic outline

Economic Outline

Economic Indicators

For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.

France is ranked as the world’s seventh largest economic power, just behind the United Kingdom and India. The country’s recovery from the 2008 economic crisis has come later than in other European countries and remained fragile due to structural imbalances. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, France suffered one of the sharpest economic contractions among EU countries (-8%), but the economy started to recover in 2021. According to IMF estimates, GDP growth amounted to 6.3% in 2021, driven by public support and by solid private sector led investment. Growth is expected to moderate to 3.9% in 2022 and 1.8% in 2023, subject to continued containment of COVID-19, normalization of supply chain difficulties, and a continued accommodative policy environment (IMF).

In 2020, France was among the most affected countries from the COVID-19 pandemic, but the economy started to recover in 2021 thanks to expansive fiscal support and effective containment of the virus (IMF). The large emergency support package adopted in 2020, which focused on supporting households and firms by preserving jobs and providing liquidity, was increased in 2021 in the context of the third partial lockdown. The total envelope for crisis and recovery measures for 2020–22 amounted to 28% of the country’s GDP (IMF). As a result of these support measures and falling revenues, budget deficit further increased to -7.5% GDP in 2021, and is forecast to decrease but remain at a high level in 2022 (-4.6% GDP) and 2023 (-3.9% GDP) (IMF). Public debt, which was already one of the highest in the Eurozone, soared to 115.8% GDP in 2021, and is forecast to stay very high in 2022 (113.5% GDP) and 2023 (114.6% GDP). Due to spike in energy prices and supply chain bottlenecks, inflation increased from 0.5% in 2020 to 2% in 2021 (IMF). It is expected to drop to 1.6% in 2022 and 1.2% in 2023 (IMF). The priorities for 2022 will include the continuation of the implementation of the Plan de Relance designed to support French businesses, minimise the rise in unemployment, and facilitate the green and digital transitions. The France 2030 plan will aim at boosting critical innovation and investment. In addition to the risk posed by a prolongation of the health crisis into 2022 due to increasingly virulent new strains of the virus and waning vaccine effectiveness, France faces structural challenges: high structural unemployment, weak competitiveness, and high public and private debt burdens. High unemployment rates, especially among youth, remain a growing concern for policymakers.

Unemployment rate, which was declining before the pandemic, reached an estimated 8.1% in 2021 and is expected to increase to 8.3% in 2022 before declining to 8% in 2023 (IMF). The deployment of short-time work scheme limited large-scale employment losses. Social mobility remains low and the employment rates of many disadvantaged groups are poor.

 
Main Indicators 201920202021 (e)2022 (e)2023 (e)
GDP (billions USD) 2,728.832,624.42e2,940.433,140.033,281.71
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) 1.8-8.0e6.73.51.8
GDP per Capita (USD) 41,990e40,299e45,02847,95249,975
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) -2.1-6.3e-7.5-4.6-3.9
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 97.6115.1e115.8113.5114.6
Inflation Rate (%) 1.30.5e2.14.11.8
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labour Force) 8.48.0e8.18.38.0
Current Account (billions USD) -7.93-49.85-48.99-44.34-34.47
Current Account (in % of GDP) -0.3-1.9-1.7-1.4-1.1

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database, 2016

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
Euro (EUR) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 ZAR 0.060.070.060.060.05

Source: World Bank, 2015

 

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Latest Update: June 2022