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World > > European Union > Economy (Facts)

European Union - Economy (Facts)
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. Twelve established EU member states introduced the euro as their common currency on 1 January 1999, but the UK, Sweden, and Denmark chose not to participate. Of the 12 most recent member states, only Slovenia has adopted the euro (1 January 2007); the remaining 11 are legally required to adopt the currency upon meeting EU's fiscal and monetary convergence criteria.
GDP - real growth rate: 3.1% (2006 est.)
GDP (purchasing power parity): $13.06 trillion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $13.73 trillion (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $29,900 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 2.1%
industry: 27.3%
services: 70.5% (2006 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.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.8% (2006 est.)
Labor force: 222.7 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 4.3%
industry: 27.2%
services: 67.1%
note: the remainder is in miscellaneous public and private sector industries and services (2002 est.)
Unemployment rate: 8.5% (2006 est.)
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: 2.6% (2006 est.)
Electricity - production: 2.997 trillion kWh (2004 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 2.822 trillion kWh (2004 est.)
Electricity - exports: NA
Electricity - imports: NA
Oil - production: 3.115 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - consumption: 14.68 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - exports: NA
Oil - imports: NA
Oil - proved reserves: 7.55 billion bbl (2005)
Natural gas - production: 238.2 billion cu m (2004)
Natural gas - exports: 78.89 billion cu m (2001)
Natural gas - imports: 347.7 billion cu m (2001)
Agriculture - products: wheat, barley, oilseeds, sugar beets, wine, grapes; dairy products, cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry; fish
Exports: $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)
Imports: $1.466 trillion; note - external imports, excluding intra-EU trade (2005)
Imports - commodities: machinery, vehicles, aircraft, plastics, crude oil, chemicals, textiles, metals, foodstuffs, clothing
Imports - partners: US 13.8%, China 13.4%, Russia 8.2%, Japan 6.2% (2006)
Exchange rates: euros per US dollar - 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002)
Fiscal year: NA


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