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European Union Economy 2005

Economy - overview: Domestically, the European Union attempts 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 (from $10,000 to $28,000) and historic national animosities, the European Community faces difficulties in devising and enforcing common policies. For example, both Germany and France since 2003 have flouted the member states' treaty obligation to prevent their national budgets from running more than a 3% deficit. In 2004, the EU admitted 10 central and eastern European countries that are, in general, less advanced technologically and economically than the existing 15. Twelve EU member states introduced the euro as their common currency on 1 January 1999. The UK, Sweden, and Denmark do not now participate; the 10 new member states may choose to adopt the euro when they meet the EU's fiscal and monetary criteria and the member states so agree.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $11.65 trillion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 2.4% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $26,900 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 2.2% industry: 28.3% services: 69.4% (2004 est.)
Labor force: 215 million (various)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 4.5%, industry 27.4%, services 66.9% note: the remainder is in miscellaneous public and private sector industries and services (2004)
Unemployment rate: 9.5% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line: See individual country listings
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.9% highest 10%: 25.4% (1995 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 31.2 (2003 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.1% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): percent of GDP - 19.5% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products: wheat, barley, oilseeds, sugar beets, wine, grapes, dairy products, cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry, fish
Industries: 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: 2.4% (2004 est.)
Electricity - production: 2.888 trillion kWh (2002 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 2.661 trillion kWh (2002 est.)
Electricity - exports: 270.8 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports: 268.5 billion kWh (2002 est.)
Oil - production: 2.648 million bbl/day (2001)
Oil - consumption: 14.54 million bbl/day (2001)
Oil - exports: 5.322 million bbl/day (2001)
Oil - imports: 15.69 million bbl/day (2001)
Oil - proved reserves: 28.21 billion bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production: 242.6 billion cu m (2001)
Natural gas - consumption: 467.7 billion cu m (2001)
Natural gas - exports: 78.1 billion cu m (2001)
Natural gas - imports: 297.8 billion cu m (2001)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 3.256 trillion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance: $NA
Exports: $1.109 trillion note: external exports, excluding intra EU trade (2003)
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 22.9%, Switzerland 6.9%, China 4.1%, Japan 4%
Imports: $1.123 trillion note: external imports, excluding intra-EU trade (2003)
Imports - commodities: machinery, vehicles, aircraft, plastics, crude oil, chemicals, textiles, metals, foodstuffs, clothing
Imports - partners: US 15.1%, China 9.7%, Japan 6.7%, Switzerland 5.6%
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $NA
Currency (code): euro, British pound, Danish kroner, Swedish kroner, Cypriot pound, koruny (Czech Republic), krooni (Estonia), forint (Hungary), lati (Latvia), litai (Lithuania), Maltese liri, zloty (Poland), koruny (Slovakia), tolar (Slovenia)
Exchange rates: euros per US dollar - 0.81 (2004), 0.89 (2003), 1.06 (2002), 1.12 (2001), 1.09 (2000)
Fiscal year: NA

NOTE: The economy information regarding European Union on this page is re-published from the 2005 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of European Union Economy 2005 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about European Union Economy 2005 should be addressed to the CIA.