France: General Trends
by Going Global
France is one of the world’s top economies and home to thousands of subsidiaries of international companies. Thirty-five of the global Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in France, including Total (energy company), AXA (insurance company), BNP Paribas (bank) and Carrefour (retail company).
France’s major industries include:
- Automobile manufacturing
- Aircraft production
- Machinery manufacturing
In addition, tourism is a major economic player. France is the most visited country in the world, with approximately 80 million foreign visitors per year. It boasts the third-largest income in the world from tourism, behind the USA and Spain.
France is a key member of the European Union (EU) and the Eurozone, the 16 countries that use the Euro (EUR) as their currency. France is the Eurozone’s second-largest economy, after Germany. While a strong economic force, France’s economic fortunes depend, in large part, on the economic health of the EU. The Eurozone is currently navigating a serious debt crisis and facing a rapidly deteriorating outlook. Jobseekers are urged to monitor the situation closely as it is continually evolving.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), it is possible that France has entered a brief and superficial recession. Real GDP is expected to grow between 0 and 0.5 percent, job creation is weak and the unemployment rate is expected to reach over 10 percent by the end of the year.