UofT G8 Research Group

Help | Search | Search by Year | Search by Country | Search by Issue (Subject) | G8 Centre

From Denver 1997 to Birmingham 1998
Country Report


~ France Contents ~ Country Objectives ~

Political Data

Key Officials

Head of State:

President Jacques Chirac (RPR) (since May 1995)

Head of Government:

Prime Minister Lionel Jospin (PS) (since June 1997)

Minister of Economy, Finance & Industry:

Dominique Strauss-Kahn (PS)

Minister of Foreign Affairs:

Hubert Vedrine (PS)

Minister of Trade:

Jacques Dondoux (PS)

Central Bank Governor:

Jean-Claude Trichet

Minister of Town and Country Planning & Environment:

Dominique Voynet (Verts)

Minister of Justice:

Elisabeth Guigou (PS)

Minister of Employment & Solidarity:

Martine Aubry (PS)

Minister of Defence:

Alin Richard (PS)



Jean-David Levitte


Dominique Perraud

Political Director: Jacques Blot

Note: PS: Partie Socialiste. RPR: Rassemblement pour la Republique. Verts: Verts.



Council of Ministers appointed by the President on the suggestion of the Prime Minister

Legislative Branch:

Bicameral Parliament, which consists of the Senate (321 seats) and the National Assembly (577 seats).

Political Party(s) forming the Government:

PS: Partie Socialiste. PCF: Partie Communiste Francais. Verts

Opposition Parties:

RPR: Rassemblement pour la Republique. UDF: Union pour la democratie francaise. PRS: Partie radical socialiste. MDC: Mouvement des citoyens. FN: Front national

National Elections:

President elected by popular vote for a seven-year term; Prime Minister appointed by the president.

Date of last election: (National Assembly)

May 25-June 1, 1997

Date of next election: (National Assembly)


Public Opinion/Approval Rating:

As of April 24, 1998, public approval ratings were as follow:

Lionel Jospin: 6% very satisfied, 43% satisfied

Jacques Chirac: 5% very satisfied, 39% satisfied

Economic Data

GDP (1997 est.):



(1996) FF 7 870.1 bln

(1997 1st quarter) FF 7983.6 bln

(1997 2nd quarter) FF 8109.2 bln

(1997 3rd quarter) FF 8192.8 bln

(1997 estimated) FF 8112.6 bln

Source: IMF


Population (July 1997):



GDP per Capita:

FF 138,418


Economic growth rate:

(3 months*) +3.1% change at annual rate

(1 year/1997 4th quarter) +3.2%

Source: The Economist


(3 months*) +0.1% change at annual rate

(1 year/Mar. 1998) +0.8% change at annual rate

Source: The Economist

*Average of latest 3 months compared with average of previous 3 months, at annual rate


Unemployment rate:

(Feb. 1998) 12.1%


Interest Rate:

Banks prime (22 April 1998): 6.55% per annum

Exchange rate:

[French Francs per US dollar / Market Rate - Period Average]

(1996) 5.1155 (1997) 5.8367

(Jan. 1998) 6.0836 (Feb. 1998) 6.0843

(22 April 1998 - The Economist) 6.01


Current account surplus

(latest 12 months):

(Jan. 1998) +39.2 US$ bln



Trade Surplus (latest 12 months):

US$31.2 bn


Foreign Direct Investment (1996):

US$168 bn


Budget Deficit (1997):

3.02% of GDP


Government Debt (1997):

58% of GDP


Foreign aid as % of GDP:

0.55 (ODA % of GNP) - 1st among G7 countries


Total export value (1997):

Ffr 1,616.6 Bn


3 major exports (1996):

Investment goods: US$79.70 bn. (27.4%)

Non-durable consumer goods: US$44.53 bn. (15.3%)

Chemicals: US$43.77 bn. (15.0%)

Main destination of exports (1996):

Germany: 17.1%

UK: 9.3%

Italy: 9.2%


3 major imports (1996):

Investment goods: US$68.95 (25.0%)

Chemicals: US$43.39 (15.7%)

Non-durable consumer goods: US$43.14 (15.7%)

Main origins of imports (1996):

Germany: 17.4%

Italy: 10.1%

BLEU: 8.4%


Note: all conversions of US$ into Ffr at exchange rate of 5.82 Ffr per US$.

Prepared by Rob Bacinski, Jocelyn Neron, Litza Smirnakis, and Christiane West, University of Toronto G8 Research Group, May 1998.

~ France Contents ~ Country Objectives ~

G8 Centre
This Information System is provided by the University of Toronto Library and the G8 Research Group at the University of Toronto.
Please send comments to: g8@utoronto.ca
This page was last updated .

All contents copyright © 1995-99. University of Toronto unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.