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European Union Economy 2008

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Economy - overview:
Internally, the EU is attempting to lower trade barriers, adopt a common currency, and move toward convergence of living standards. Internationally, the EU aims to bolster Europe's trade position and its political and economic power. Because of the great differences in per capita income among member states (from $7,000 to $69,000) and historic national animosities, the EU faces difficulties in devising and enforcing common policies. For example, since 2003 Germany and France have flouted the member states' treaty obligation to prevent their national budgets from running more than a 3% deficit. In 2004 and 2007, the EU admitted 10 and two countries, respectively, that are, in general, less advanced technologically and economically than the other 15. Eleven established EU member states introduced the euro as their common currency on 1 January 1999 (Greece did so two years later), but the UK, Sweden, and Denmark chose not to participate. Of the 12 most recent member states, only Slovenia (1 January 2007) and Cyprus and Malta (1 January 2008) have adopted the euro; the remaining nine are legally required to adopt the currency upon meeting EU's fiscal and monetary convergence criteria.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$14.44 trillion (2007 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$14.51 trillion (2007 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
3% (2007 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$32,900 (2007 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 2%
industry: 27.1%
services: 70.7% (2006 est.)

Labor force:
222.4 million (2006 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 4.4%
industry: 27.1%
services: 67.1%
note: the remainder is in miscellaneous public and private sector industries and services (2002 est.)

Unemployment rate:
8.5% (2006 est.)

Population below poverty line:
see individual country listings

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 25.2% (2001 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
30.7 (2003 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.8% (2006 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):
21.3% of GDP (2006 est.)

Agriculture - products:
wheat, barley, oilseeds, sugar beets, wine, grapes; dairy products, cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry; fish

among the world's largest and most technologically advanced, the European Union industrial base includes: ferrous and non-ferrous metal production and processing, metal products, petroleum, coal, cement, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, rail transportation equipment, passenger and commercial vehicles, construction equipment, industrial equipment, shipbuilding, electrical power equipment, machine tools and automated manufacturing systems, electronics and telecommunications equipment, fishing, food and beverage processing, furniture, paper, textiles, tourism

Industrial production growth rate:
2.6% (2006 est.)

Electricity - production:
3.007 trillion kWh (2004 est.)

Electricity - consumption:
2.81 trillion kWh (2004 est.)

Electricity - exports:

Electricity - imports:

Oil - production:
2.876 million bbl/day (2004)

Oil - consumption:
14.57 million bbl/day (2004)

Oil - exports:
6.971 million bbl/day (2001)

Oil - imports:
17.76 million bbl/day (2001)

Oil - proved reserves:
7.072 billion bbl (1 January 2005)

natural gas - production:
213.7 billion cu m (2005 est.)

natural gas - consumption:
496.3 billion cu m (2005 est.)

natural gas - exports:
76.48 billion cu m (2005 est.)

natural gas - imports:
361.5 billion cu m (2005 est.)

natural gas - proved reserves:
3.31 trillion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Current account balance:

$1.33 trillion; note - external exports, excluding intra-EU trade (2005)

Exports - commodities:
machinery, motor vehicles, aircraft, plastics, pharmaceuticals and other chemicals, fuels, iron and steel, nonferrous metals, wood pulp and paper products, textiles, meat, dairy products, fish, alcoholic beverages.

Exports - partners:
US 23.3%, Switzerland 7.6%, Russia 5.2%, China 4.8% (2006)

$1.466 trillion; note - external imports, excluding intra-EU trade (2005)

Imports - partners:
US 13.8%, China 13.4%, Russia 8.2%, Japan 6.2% (2006)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

Currency (code):
euro, British pound, Bulgarian lev, Czech koruna, Danish krone, Estonian kroon, Hungarian forint, Latvian lat, Lithuanian litas, Polish zloty, Romanian leu, Slovak koruna, Swedish krona

Exchange rates:
euros per US dollar - 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003)

Fiscal year:

NOTE: The information regarding European Union on this page is re-published from the 2008 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of European Union Economy 2008 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about European Union Economy 2008 should be addressed to the CIA.

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This page was last modified 24-May-08
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