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Size and characteristics of markets.

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Size and characteristics of markets France France is in the midst of transition, from a well to do modern economy that has featured extensive government ownership and intervention to one that relies more on market mechanisms. The Socialist led government has partially or fully privatised may large companies, banks and insurers, but still retains controlling stakes in several leading firms, including Air France, France Telecom, Renault and Thales and remains dominant in come sectors particularly power, public transport and defence industries. The telecommunications sector is gradually being opened to competition. France's leaders remain committed to a capitalism in which they maintain social equity by means of laws, tax policies, and social spending that reduce income disparity and the impact of free markets on public heath and welfare. The current government has lowered income taxes and introduced measures to boost employment levels. At the end of 2002 the government was focusing on the problems of the high cost of labour and labour market inflexibility resulting from the 35-hour working week and restrictions on lay offs. The government was also pushing for pension reforms and simplification of administrative policies. ...read more.


Germanys ageing population, combined with high unemployment, has pushed social security outlays to a level exceeding contributions from workers. Structural rigidities in the labour market that includes strict regulations on laying off workers and the setting of wages on a national basis have made unemployment a major problem. Growth in 2002 and 2003 fell short of 1% that could allow Germany to meet the long-term challenges of European economic integration and globalisation, particularly if labour market rigidities are further addressed. In the short run, however, the fall in government revenues and the rise in expenditures have raised the deficit about the EU's 3% debt limit. GDP Purchasing power parity �2.16 trillion (2002) GDP (real growth rate) 0.2% (2002) GDP (composition by sector) Agriculture: 1% Industry: 31% Services: 68% (2002) Population below poverty line N/A Inflation rate (consumer prices) 1.3% (2002) Labour force 41.9 million (2001) Unemployment rate 9.8% (2002) Industries Amongst the worlds largest and most technologically advanced producers of iron, steel, coal, cement, chemicals, machinery, vehicles, machine tools, electronics, food and beverages, ship building, textiles. Exports (Commodities) ...read more.


The relatively good economic performance has complicated the Blair government's efforts to make a case for Britain to join the European Economic and Monetary Union. Meanwhile, the government has been speeding up the improvement of education, transport and health services at a cost in high taxes. The war in March to April 2003 between a US led coalition and Iraq, together with the subsequent problems of restoring the economy and the polity, involve a heavy commitment of British Military forces. GDP Purchasing power parity �1528 trillion (2002) GDP (real growth rate) 1.8% (2002) GDP (composition by sector) Agriculture: 1.4% Industry: 24.9% Services: 73.7% Population below poverty line 7% Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.1% (2002) Labour force 29.7 million (2001) Unemployment rate: 5.2% (2002) Industries Machine tools, electronic power equipment, automation equipment, railroad equipment, shipbuilding, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, electronics and communications equipment, metals, chemicals, coal, petroleum, paper and paper products, food processing, textiles, clothing and other consumer goods. Exports (Commodities) Manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals, food, beverages, tobacco. Exports (partners) US 15.5%, Germany 11.2%, France 9.4%, Ireland 8%, Netherlands 7.15, Belgium 5.2%, Italy 4.4%, Spain 4.3% Imports (Commodities) Manufactured goods, machinery, fuel, foodstuffs. Imports (partners) Germany 12.9%, USA 11.9%, France 7.8%, Netherlands 6.3%, Belgium 5%, Italy 4% (2002) Currency British pound Laura Robinson 1 ...read more.

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