Economy of the European Union

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Economy of the European Union
Hauptwache Ffm April 2010 DSC 9367.jpg
Frankfurt, seat of the ECB
Currency Euro (EUR) = 1.23 USD[1]
Trade organisations
WTO, G20, G7 and others
Statistics
GDP $17.1 trillion (nominal; 2017)[2]
$20.9 trillion (PPP; 2017)[2]
GDP growth
Increase 2.9% (2017)[3]
GDP per capita
$36,700 Increase (Nominal) (2017)[2]
$40,890 Increase (PPP) (2017)[2]
GDP by sector
Agriculture: 1.5%
Industry: 24.5%
Services: 70.7% (2016 est.)[4]
Positive decrease 1.5% (September 2017)[5]
Population below poverty line
9.8% (2013)[4]
Positive decrease 30.8 (2016)[6]
Increase 0.874 (very high)
Labour force
234 million (2016 est.)[4]
21 million unemployed (2016)[7]
Labour force by occupation
Agriculture: 5%
Industry: 21.9%
Services: 73.1% (2014 est.)[4]
Unemployment Positive decrease 7.3% (January 2018)[7]
Average gross salary
€35,000 (~US$43,000), annual (2015)[8]
€24,000 (~US$30,000), annual (2015)[8]
Main industries
External
Exports $1.9 trillion (2015 est.)[9]
Export goods
machinery, motor vehicles, pharmaceuticals and other chemicals, fuels, aircraft, plastics, iron and steel, wood pulp and paper products, alcoholic beverages, furniture
Main export partners
Imports $1.7 trillion (2015 est.)[9]
Import goods
fuels and crude oil, machinery, vehicles, pharmaceuticals and other chemicals, precious gemstones, textiles, aircraft, plastics, metals, ships
Main import partners
FDI stock
€4 trillion (inward, 2012)[10]
€5.2 trillion (outward, 2012)[11]
Increase €161.6 billion; 1.1% of GDP (2015)[12]
$13.05 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)[9]
Increase -€2,557.4 billion; 17.5% of GDP (2015)[13]
Public finances
Positive decrease 83.2% of GDP (2016)[14]
Revenues 44.9% of GDP (2016)[15]
Expenses 47.4% of GDP (2015)[16]
Economic aid donor: ODA, $87.64 billion[18]
Foreign reserves
$0.6 trillion (2010).[20]
Main data source: CIA World Fact Book
All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.
GNI per capita of EU, 2016

The European Union is the second largest economy in the world in nominal terms and according to purchasing power parity (PPP). The European Union's GDP was estimated to be €17.1 trillion (nominal) in 2017[21], representing ~22% of global economy (nominal global GDP).[22]

2015 GDP (nominal) in EU.svg

The euro, used by 19 of its 28 members, is the second largest reserve currency as well as the second most traded currency in the world after the United States dollar.[23][24][25] The euro is the official currency in the eurozone and in six other European countries, officially or de facto.

The European Union (EU) economy consists of an internal market of mixed economies based on free market and advanced social models. The GDP per capita (PPP) was $37,800 in 2015,[4] compared to $57,084 in the United States and $14,340 in China.[26] With a low Gini coefficient of 31, the European Union has a more egalitarian repartition of incomes than the world average.[27][28]

Euronext is the main stock exchange of the Eurozone and the 7th world largest by market capitalisation.[29] Foreign investments made in the European Union total $5.1 trillion in 2012, while the EU's investments in foreign countries total $9.1 trillion, by far the highest domestic and foreign investments in the world.[30][31]

Since the beginning of the public debt crisis in 2009, opposite economic situations have emerged between Southern Europe on one hand, and Central and Northern Europe on the other hand: a higher unemployment rate and public debt in the Mediterranean countries with the exeption of Malta, and a lower unemployment rate with higher GDP growth rate in the Eastern and in Northern member countries. In 2015, public debt in the European Union was 85% of GDP, with disparities between the lowest rate, Estonia with 9.7%, and the highest, Greece with 176%.[32]

The seven largest trading partners of the European Union are the United States, China, Switzerland, Russia, Japan, Turkey and Norway. The EU is represented as a unified entity in the World Trade Organization (WTO), the G-20 and G7, alongside with the EU's member countries participating.

Currency

The Eurozone (dark blue) represents 340 million people. The euro is the second-largest reserve currency in the world.

Beginning in the year 1999 with some EU member states, now 19 out of 28 EU states use the euro as official currency in a currency union. The remaining 9 states continued to use their own currency with the possibility to join the euro later. The euro is also the most widely used currency in the EU.

Since 1992 the Maastricht treaty sets out rigid economic and fiscal convergence criteria for the states joining the euro. Starting 1997, the Stability and Growth Pact has been started to ensure continuing economic and fiscal stability and convergence.

Denmark and the United Kingdom, not members of the eurozone, have special opt-outs concerning the later joining of the euro. Also, Sweden can effectively opt out by choosing when or whether to join the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, which is the preliminary step towards joining. The remaining states are committed to join the euro through their Treaties of Accession.

Starting with Greece in 2009, five of the 19 eurozone states have been struggling with a sovereign debt crisis, by many called the European debt crisis. All these states started reforms and got bailout packages (Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus). As of 2015, all countries but Greece have recovered from their debt crisis. Other non-eurozone states also experienced a debt crisis and also went through successful bailout programmes, i.e. Hungary, Romania and Latvia (the latter before it joined the eurozone).[33]

Budget

The operation of the EU has an agreed budget of €141 billion for the year 2011, and €862 billion for the period 2007–2013,[34] this represents around 1% of the EU's GDP.

Sectors

Services

The services sector is by far the most important sector in the European Union, making up 74.7% of GDP, compared to the manufacturing industry with 23.8% of GDP and agriculture with only 1.5% of GDP.[35]

Financial services are well developed within the Single Market of the Union. Companies have a greater reliance on bank lending than in the United States, although a shift towards companies raising more funding through capital markets is planned through the Capital Markets Union initiative.[36][37][38] Many EU cities are financial centres, nonetheless financial institutions and companies located in the United Kingdom provide significant financial services to companies located within the EU.[39][40][41] According to the Global Financial Centres Index, after the United Kingdom has left the EU in March 2019, the two largest financial centres in Europe, London and Zurich, will be outside the European Union. While the two largest centres within the EU will be Frankfurt and Luxembourg City.[42] London is also a leading international centre for professional services which are sold to clients across the EU.

Agriculture

The agricultural sector is supported by subsidies from the European Union in the form of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). In 2013 this represented approximately €45billion (less than 33% of the overall budget of €148billion) of the EU's total spending.[43] It was used originally to guarantee a minimum price for farmers in the EU. This is criticised as a form of protectionism, inhibiting trade, and damaging developing countries; one of the most vocal opponents is the UK, the second largest economy within the bloc, which has repeatedly refused to give up the annual UK rebate unless the CAP undergoes significant reform; France, the biggest beneficiary of the CAP and the bloc's third largest economy, is its most vocal proponent. The CAP is however witnessing substantial reform. In 1985, around 70% of the EU budget was spent on agriculture. In 2011, direct aid to farmers and market-related expenditure amount to just 30% of the budget, and rural development spending to 11%. By 2011, 90% of direct support had become non-trade-distorting (not linked to production) as reforms have continued to be made to the CAP, its funding and its design.[44]

Tourism

The European Union is a major tourist destination, attracting visitors from outside of the Union and citizens travelling inside it. Internal tourism is made more convenient by the Schengen treaty and the euro. All citizens of the European Union are entitled to travel to any member state without the need of a visa.

France is the world's number one tourist destination for international visitors, followed by Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom and Germany. It is worth noting, however, that a significant proportion of international visitors to EU countries are from other member states.

London, the capital of the United Kingdom is also the world's most visited city (16.9 million visitors in 2012) and the highest in tourism receipts, shortly followed by Paris with 16 million visitors.[45]

Energy

Wind power stations in Cerová, Slovakia.

The European Union has uranium, coal, oil, and natural gas reserves. There are six oil producers in the European Union, primarily in North Sea oilfields. The United Kingdom is by far the largest producer; Denmark, Germany, Italy, Romania and the Netherlands all produce oil. If it is treated as a single unit, which is not conventional in the oil markets, the European Union is the 19th largest producer of oil in the world, producing 1,241,370 (2013) barrels a day.[citation needed]

It is the world's second largest consumer of oil, consuming much more than it can produce, at 12,790,000 (2013) barrels a day. Much of the difference comes from Russia and the Caspian Sea basin. All countries in the EU have committed to the Kyoto Protocol, and the European Union is one of its biggest proponents. The European Commission published proposals for the first comprehensive EU energy policy on 10 January 2007.[citation needed]

Companies

The European Union's member states are the birthplace of many of the world's largest leading multinational companies, and home to its global headquarters. Among these are distinguished companies ranked first in the world within their industry/sector, like Allianz, which is the largest financial service provider in the world by revenue; WPP plc which is the world's largest advertising agency by revenue; Air France-KLM, which is the largest airline company in the world in terms of total operating revenues; Amorim, which is the world's largest cork-processing and cork producer company; ArcelorMittal, which is the largest steel company in the world; Inditex which is the biggest fashion group in the world; Groupe Danone, which has the world leadership in the dairy products market.[citation needed]

Anheuser-Busch InBev is the largest beer company in the world; L'Oréal Group, which is the world's largest cosmetics and beauty company; LVMH, which is the world's largest luxury goods conglomerate; Nokia Corporation, which was the world's largest manufacturer of mobile telephones; Royal Dutch Shell, which is one of the largest energy corporations in the world; and Stora Enso, which is the world's largest pulp and paper manufacturer in terms of production capacity, in terms of banking and finance the EU has some of the worlds largest notably HSBC and Grupo Santander, the largest bank in Europe in terms of Market Capitalisation.[citation needed]

Many other European companies rank among the world's largest companies in terms of turnover, profit, market share, number of employees or other major indicators. A considerable number of EU-based companies are ranked among the worlds' top-ten within their sector of activity. Europe is also home to many prestigious car companies such as BMW, Ferrari, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, Mercedes, Porsche, as well as volume manufacturers such as Fiat, PSA group, Renault and Volkswagen.

The following is a list of the largest EU based stock market listed companies in 2016. The ordered by revenue in millions of US Dollars and is based on the Fortune Global 500.

Fortune top 10 E.U. corporations by revenue (2016)[46]
Rank Corporation Stock ticker Revenue $ millions Profit $ millions Employees Headquarters Industry
1 Royal Dutch Shell RDS.A 272,156 1,939 90,000 Shell Centre, London, UK, The Hague, Netherlands Energy
2 Volkswagen VLKAY 236,600 -1,520 610,076 Wolfsburg, Germany Motor Vehicles & Parts
3 BP PLC BP.L 183,000 4,100 74500 London, UK Energy
4 Daimler DDAIY 165,800 9,345 284,015 Stuttgart, Germany Motor Vehicles & Parts
5 EXOR Group EXOSF 152,591 825 303,247 Turin, Italy Financials
6 Total TOT 143,421 5,087 96,019 Paris, France Energy
7 E.ON EONGY 129,277 -7,764 56,490 Essen, Germany Energy
8 AXA AXAHY 129,250 6,231 98,279 Paris, France Financials
9 Allianz AZSEY 122,948 7,339 142,459 Munich, Germany Financials
10 BNP Paribas BNPQY 111,531 7,426 181,551 Paris, France Financials

Economies of member states

Wealth

The twelve new member states of the European Union have enjoyed a higher average percentage growth rate than their elder members of the EU. Slovakia has the highest GDP growth in the period 2005–2015 among all countries of the European Union (See Tatra Tiger). Notably the Baltic states have achieved high GDP growth, with Latvia topping 11%, close to China, the world leader at 9% on average for the past 25 years (though these gains have been in great part cancelled by the late-2000s recession).

Reasons for this growth include government commitments to stable monetary policy, export-oriented trade policies, low flat-tax rates and the utilisation of relatively cheap labour. In 2015 Ireland had the highest GDP growth of all the states in EU (26.3%). The current map of EU growth is one of huge regional variation, with the larger economies suffering from stagnant growth and the new nations enjoying sustained, robust economic growth.

Although EU28 GDP is on the increase, the percentage of gross world product is decreasing because of the emergence of economies such as China, India and Brazil.

Population and GDP per capita of European countries (2010)
EU member states GDP growth rates[3]
Member state 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Average Yearly Growth
 Austria 0.7 0.0 0.8 1.0 1.5 2.9 1.15
 Belgium 0.2 0.2 1.4 1.4 1.5 1.7 1.06
 Bulgaria 0.0 0.9 1.3 3.6 3.9 3.6 2.22
 Croatia −2.2 −0.6 −0.1 2.3 3.2 2.8 0.9
 Cyprus −3.1 −5.9 −1.5 2.0 3.0 3.9 −0.27
 Czech Republic −0.8 −0.5 2.7 5.3 2.6 4.6 2.32
 Denmark 0.2 0.9 1.6 1.6 2.0 2.1 1.4
 Estonia 4.3 1.9 2.9 1.7 2.1 4.9 2.97
 Finland −1.4 −0.8 −0.6 0.0 1.9 2.7 0.3
 France 0.2 0.6 0.9 1.1 1.2 1.8 0.97
 Germany 0.5 0.5 1.9 1.7 1.9 2.2 1.45
 Greece −7.3 −3.2 0.7 −0.3 −0.2 1.4 −1.48
 Hungary −1.6 2.1 4.2 3.4 2.2 4.0 2.38
 Ireland 0.0 1.6 8.3 25.6 5.1 7.8 8.07
 Italy −2.8 −1.7 0.1 1.0 0.9 1.5 −0.17
 Latvia 4.0 2.6 1.9 2.8 2.1 4.5 2.98
 Lithuania 3.8 3.5 3.5 2.0 2.3 3.8 3.15
 Luxembourg −0.4 3.7 5.8 2.9 3.1 2.3 2.9
 Malta 2.6 4.7 8.1 9.9 5.5 6.6 6.23
 Netherlands −1.1 −0.2 1.4 2.3 2.2 3.1 1.28
 Poland 1.6 1.4 3.3 3.8 2.9 4.6 2.93
 Portugal −4.0 −1.1 0.9 1.8 1.5 2.7 0.3
 Romania 1.2 3.5 3.1 4.0 4.8 7.0 3.93
 Slovakia 1.7 1.5 2.8 3.9 3.3 3.4 2.77
 Slovenia −2.7 −1.1 3.0 2.3 3.1 5.0 1.6
 Spain −2.9 −1.7 1.4 3.4 3.3 3.1 1.1
 Sweden −0.3 1.2 2.6 4.5 3.2 2.4 2.27
 United Kingdom 1.5 2.1 3.1 2.3 1.9 1.7 2.1
 European Union −0.4 0.3 1.8 2.3 2.0 2.4 1.4
Eurozone −0.9 −0.2 1.3 2.1 1.8 2.3 1.07
 Serbia[a] −1.0 2.6 −1.8 0.8 2.8 1.9 0.88
 Montenegro[b] −2.7 3.5 1.8 3.4 2.9
EU by GNI per capita, PPP (current international $). World Bank 2016
EU member states GDP (nominal) in billions of €[47]
Member state 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
 Austria 318.653 323.910 333.062 344.493 353.296 369.218
 Belgium 387.500 392.339 400.288 410.435 423.048 438.485
 Bulgaria 41.947 42.011 42.762 45.286 48.129 50.430
 Croatia 43.996 43.725 43.391 44.522 46.382 48.677
 Cyprus 19.490 18.140 17.606 17.742 18.122 19.214
 Czech Republic 161.434 157.742 156.660 168.473 176.564 192.017
 Denmark 254.578 258.743 265.757 271.778 277.489 288.374
 Estonia 17.940 18.932 19.766 20.348 21.098 23.002
 Finland 199.793 203.338 205.474 209.604 215.773 223.522
 France 2,086.929 2,115.256 2,147.609 2,194.243 2,228.857 2,287.603
 Germany 2,758.260 2,826.240 2,923.930 3,032.820 3,132.670 3,263.350
 Greece 191.204 180.654 178.656 176.312 174.199 177.735
 Hungary 99.502 101.887 105.574 110.723 113.731 123.495
 Ireland 175.561 180.298 194.537 262.037 275.567 296.152
 Italy 1,613.265 1,604.599 1,621.827 1,652.152 1,680.523 1,716.935
 Latvia 22.058 22.874 23.681 24.353 24.927 26.857
 Lithuania 33.348 34.960 36.568 37.427 38.668 41.857
 Luxembourg 44.112 46.500 49.993 52.102 53.004 55.378
 Malta 7.165 7.643 8.454 9.517 10.192 11.109
 Netherlands 645.164 652.748 663.008 683.457 702.641 731.168
 Poland 389.377 394.734 411.005 430.055 425.980 465.652
 Portugal 168.398 170.269 173.079 179.809 185.179 193.049
 Romania 133.511 144.253 150.357 160.314 169.771 187.868
 Slovakia 72.703 74.170 76.088 78.896 81.154 84.985
 Slovenia 36.076 36.239 37.615 38.837 40.418 43.278
 Spain 1,039.815 1,025.693 1,037.820 1,079.998 1,118.522 1,163.662
 Sweden 423.341 435.752 432.691 449,015 465.186 477.858
 United Kingdom 2,078.292 2,063.624 2,278.894 2,602.140 2,395.801 2,324.293
 European Union 13,463.405 13,577,271 14,044.690 14,797,444 14,907.852 15,324.267
Eurozone 9,837.426 9,934.799 10,157.598 10,515.139 10,788.818 11,165.452
 Serbia[a] 31.683 34.263 33.319 33.491 34.617 36.795
 Montenegro[b] 3.181 3.362 3.458 3.654 3.954
EU member states GDP (nominal) per capita in €[47]
Member state 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
 Austria 37,800 38,200 39,000 39,900 40,400 42,000
 Belgium 35,000 35,300 35,800 36,500 37,500 38,600
 Bulgaria 5,700 5,800 5,900 6,300 6,800 7,100
 Croatia 10,300 10,300 10,200 10,600 11,100 11,700
 Cyprus 22,600 21,000 20,700 20,900 21,300 22,400
 Czech Republic 15,400 15,000 14,900 16,000 16,700 18,100
 Denmark 45,500 46,100 47,100 47,800 48,400 50,000
 Estonia 13,500 14,300 15,000 15,500 16,000 17,500
 Finland 36,900 37,400 37,600 38,200 39,300 40,600
 France 31,800 32,100 32,400 33,000 33,300 34,100
 Germany 34,300 35,000 36,200 37,300 38,200 39,500
 Greece 17,300 16,500 16,400 16,300 16,200 16,600
 Hungary 10,000 10,300 10,700 11,300 11,600 12,600
 Ireland 38,200 39,200 42,200 56,400 58,800 61,700
 Italy 26,700 26,500 26,700 27,200 27,700 28,300
 Latvia 10,800 11,400 11,900 12,300 12,700 13,900
 Lithuania 11,200 11,800 12,500 12,900 13,500 14,800
 Luxembourg 83,000 85,300 89,500 91,500 90,700 92,800
 Malta 17,100 17,900 19,400 21,400 22,400 23,900
 Netherlands 38,500 38,900 39,300 40,400 41,300 42,700
 Poland 10,100 10,300 10,700 11,200 11,100 12,100
 Portugal 16,000 16,300 16,600 17,400 17,900 18,700
 Romania 6,700 7,200 7,500 8,100 8,600 9,600
 Slovakia 13,400 13,700 14,000 14,600 14,900 15,600
 Slovenia 17,500 17,600 18,200 18,800 19,600 21,000
 Spain 22,200 22,000 22,300 23,300 24,100 25,000
 Sweden 44,500 45,400 44,600 45,800 46,900 47,400
 United Kingdom 32,600 32,200 35,300 40,000 36,500 35,200
 European Union 26,600 26,800 27,600 29,000 29,200 29,900
Eurozone 29,200 29,500 30,000 31,000 31,700 32,700
 Serbia[a] 4,400 4,800 4,700 4,700 4,900 5,200
 Montenegro[b]
EU member states Gini coefficients[6]
Member state 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
 Austria 27.4 27.6 27.0 27.6 27.2 27.2
 Belgium 26.3 26.5 25.9 25.9 26.2 26.3
 Bulgaria 35.0 33.6 35.4 35.4 37.0 38.3
 Croatia 31.2 30.9 30.9 30.2 30.6 29.7
 Cyprus 29.2 31.0 32.4 34.8 33.6 32.1
 Czech Republic 25.2 24.9 24.6 25.1 25.0 25.1
 Denmark 26.6 26.5 26.8 27.7 27.4 27.7 27.6
 Estonia 31.9 32.5 32.9 35.6 34.8 32.7
 Finland 25.8 25.9 25.4 25.6 25.2 25.4
 France 30.8 30.5 30.1 29.2 29.2 29.3
 Germany 29.0 28.3 29.7 30.7 30.1 29.5
 Greece 33.5 34.3 34.4 34.5 34.2 34.3
 Hungary 26.9 27.2 28.3 28.6 28.2 28.2
 Ireland 29.8 30.5 30.7 31.1 29.8 29.5
 Italy 32.5 32.4 32.8 32.4 32.4 33.1
 Latvia 35.1 35.7 35.2 35.5 35.4 34.5 34.5
 Lithuania 33.0 32.0 34.6 35.0 37.9 37.0
 Luxembourg 27.2 28.0 30.4 28.7 28.5 31.0
 Malta 27.2 27.1 27.9 27.7 28.1 28.5
 Netherlands 25.8 25.4 25.1 26.2 26.7 28.2
 Poland 31.1 30.9 30.7 30.8 30.6 29.8
 Portugal 34.2 34.5 34.2 34.5 34.0 33.9
 Romania 33.5 34.0 34.6 35.0 37.4 34.7
 Slovakia 25.7 25.3 24.2 26.1 23.7 24.3
 Slovenia 23.8 23.7 24.4 25.0 24.5 24.4
 Spain 34.0 34.2 33.7 34.7 34.6 34.5
 Sweden 24.4 24.8 24.9 25.4 25.2 27.6
 United Kingdom 33.0 31.3 30.2 31.6 32.4 31.5
 European Union 30.8 30.5 30.5 30.9 31.0 30.8
Eurozone 30.6 30.5 30.7 31.0 30.8 30.7
 Serbia[a] 38.0 38.6 38.2 38.6
 Montenegro[b][48] 30.8 32.1 32.3 31.9

Labour market

The EU seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.8% in April 2017.[49] The euro area unemployment rate was 9.3%.[49] Among the member states, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in the Czech Republic (3.2%), Germany (3.9%) and Malta (4.1%), and the highest in Spain (17.8%) and Greece (22.5% in March 2017).[49]

The following table shows the history of the unemployment rate for all European Union member states :

Unemployment rate by country (base month is March of each year)
Member state[49] 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Last available
 Austria 4.1 5.0 4.9 4.7 4.6 5.4 5.6 5.6 5.9 5.7 5.2
 Belgium 6.7 8.0 8.5 6.9 7.1 8.3 8.5 8.7 8.1 7.6 6.4
 Bulgaria 6.0 6.3 9.9 11.2 12.1 13.0 11.9 10.0 8.1 6.4 5.3
 Croatia 9.1 8.9 10.8 13.7 15.5 16.5 17.7 16.6 13.9 11.8 9.6
 Cyprus 3.8 4.6 6.7 6.9 10.7 14.9 16.2 16.2 13.1 12.1 9.6
 Czech Republic 4.4 5.9 7.7 6.8 6.9 7.2 6.5 5.6 4.0 3.2 2.4
 Denmark 3.2 5.3 7.6 7.4 7.7 7.1 6.6 6.4 6.0 5.9 4.8
 Estonia 4.3 11.9 19.2 14.0 11.1 9.1 7.9 6.7 6.4 5.5 6.5
 Finland 6.3 7.6 8.5 7.9 7.6 8.1 8.4 9.2 9.0 8.8 8.4
 France 7.2 8.9 9.3 9.1 9.5 10.3 10.2 10.3 10.1 9.6 8.9
 Germany 7.7 7.6 7.3 6.1 5.4 5.3 5.1 4.8 4.3 3.9 3.5
 Greece 8.2 9.1 11.6 16.0 22.7 27.1 26.9 26.0 23.8 22.1 20.8
 Hungary 7.5 9.6 11.4 11.1 11.3 10.6 7.9 7.3 5.7 4.4 3.7
 Ireland 5.2 11.1 13.2 14.3 15.0 13.6 12.0 9.8 8.3 7.0 6.1
 Italy 6.4 7.6 8.4 8.0 10.5 11.9 12.7 12.4 11.5 11.5 10.9
 Latvia 6.4 14.8 20.4 16.7 15.9 11.9 11.1 9.8 8.6 8.8 8.0
 Lithuania 4.1 11.6 17.8 16.5 14.0 12.1 11.5 9.3 8.4 7.5 7.3
 Luxembourg 4.4 5.4 4.6 4.7 5.1 5.7 6.0 6.4 6.4 5.8 5.4
 Malta 5.9 6.6 6.9 6.5 6.5 6.2 5.9 5.7 4.9 4.2 3.5
 Netherlands 3.6 3.9 5.1 4.8 5.5 6.9 7.8 7.0 6.4 5.1 3.9
 Portugal 8.6 10.1 11.6 12.5 15.0 17.2 14.7 13.2 12.0 9.7 7.8
 Poland 7.2 7.9 10.0 9.4 9.8 10.6 9.7 7.8 6.4 5.1 4.4
 Romania 5.6 6.0 7.3 6.8 7.0 6.9 7.0 6.7 6.4 5.2 4.6
 Slovakia 10.2 10.7 14.9 13.6 13.7 14.1 13.6 11.9 10.1 8.5 7.5
 Slovenia 4.6 5.3 6.9 8.1 7.9 10.8 10.1 9.2 8.3 6.9 5.3
 Spain 9.4 17.4 19.5 20.7 23.9 26.3 25.2 23.0 20.3 18.0 16.1
 Sweden 5.8 7.8 8.8 7.9 7.5 8.3 8.0 7.5 7.2 6.4 5.9
 United Kingdom 5.2 7.3 7.9 7.7 8.1 7.7 6.6 5.4 4.9 4.5 4.1
 European Union 6.8 8.6 9.7 9.5 10.3 10.9 10.5 9.7 8.8 7.9 7.1
Index of Economic Freedom (2017)
Member state 2016[50] 2017[51]
 Austria 71.2 72.3
 Belgium 68.8 67.8
 Denmark 75.3 75.1
 Finland 73.4 74.0
 France 62.5 63.3
 Germany 73.8 73.8
 Greece 54.0 55.0
 Ireland 77.3 76.7
 Italy 61.7 62.5
 Luxembourg 73.2 75.9
 Netherlands 73.7 75.8
 Portugal 65.3 62.6
 Spain 67.6 63.6
 Sweden 72.7 74.9
 United Kingdom 76.4 76.4
 Bulgaria 66.8 67.9
 Croatia 61.5 59.4
 Cyprus 67.9 67.9
 Czech Republic 72.5 73.3
 Estonia 77.2 79.1
 Hungary 66.8 65.8
 Latvia 69.7 74.8
 Lithuania 75.2 75.8
 Malta 66.5 67.7
 Poland 68.6 68.3
 Romania 66.6 69.7
 Slovakia 67.2 65.7
 Slovenia 60.3 59.2
 European Union 69.1 69.4
Unemployment rate by country in the EEA in March 2017.
Unemployment rates in selected European countries and in the EU28 between 01/2004 and 04/2014.

Public finance

Public finance (with limits according to the Maastricht criterion)
Member state Public deficit as % of GDP (2016)
(E.U. limit : -3%)
[52]
Public debt as % of GDP (2016)
(E.U. limit : 60%)
[53]
HICP inflation rate (2016)
Max. 0.7% (as of 30 April 2016)
[54]
Long-term interest rate (01/17)
Max. 4.0% (as of 30 April 2016)
[55][56]
 Austria −1.6 84.6 1.0 0.57
 Belgium −2.6 105.9 1.8 0.70
 Bulgaria 0.0 29.5 −1.3 1.77
 Croatia −0.8 84.2 −0.6 2.80
 Cyprus 0.4 107.8 −1.2 3.45
 Czech Republic 0.6 37.2 0.6 0.47
 Denmark −0.9 37.8 0.0 0.37
 Estonia 0.3 9.5 0.8 (n/a)
 Finland −1.9 63.6 0.4 0.50
 France −3.4 96.0 0.3 0.86
 Germany 0.8 68.3 0.4 0.25
 Greece 0.7 179.0 0.0 7.04
 Hungary −1.8 74.1 0.4 3.40
 Ireland −1.6 75.4 −0.2 0.99
 Italy −2.4 132.6 −0.1 1.99
 Latvia 0.0 40.1 0.1 0.89
 Lithuania 0.3 40.2 0.7 0.31
 Luxembourg 1.6 20.0 0.0 0.43
 Malta 1.0 58.3 0.9 1.17
 Netherlands 0.4 62.3 0.1 0.48
 Poland −2.4 54.4 −0.2 3.68
 Portugal −2.0 130.4 0.6 3.95
 Romania −3.0 37.6 −1.1 3.75
 Slovakia −1.7 51.9 −0.5 1.03
 Slovenia −1.8 79.7 −0.2 0.99
 Spain −4.5 99.4 −0.3 1.46
 Sweden 0.9 41.6 1.1 0.65
 United Kingdom −3.0 89.3 0.7 1.38
 European Union −1.7 83.5 0.3 1.34
Eurozone −1.5 89.2 0.2 1.10

Trade

The European Union is the largest exporter in the world[57] and as of 2008 the largest importer of goods and services.[58][59] Internal trade between the member states is aided by the removal of barriers to trade such as tariffs and border controls. In the eurozone, trade is helped by not having any currency differences to deal with amongst most members.[60]

The European Union Association Agreement does something similar for a much larger range of countries, partly as a so-called soft approach ('a carrot instead of a stick') to influence the politics in those countries. The European Union represents all its members at the World Trade Organization (WTO), and acts on behalf of member states in any disputes. When the EU negotiates trade related agreement outside the WTO framework, the subsequent agreement must be approved by each individual EU member.[60]

10 largest trading partners(2016)
Main trading partners (2016)[61]
Rank Partners Imports (million euro) % (of total) Exports (million euro) % (of total) Total trade (million euro) % (of total)
-  European Union 1,706,413 100% 1,745,730 100% 3,452,143 100%
1  United States 246,774 14,5% 362,043 20,7% 608,817 17,6%
2  China 344,642 20,2% 170,136 9,7% 514,779 14,9%
3   Switzerland 121,608 7,1% 142,432 8,2% 264,040 7,6%
4  Russia 118,661 7,0% 72,428 4,1% 191,089 5,5%
5  Turkey 66,652 3,9% 78,030 4,5% 144,681 4,2%
6  Japan 66,383 3,9% 58,136 3,3% 124,519 3,6%
7  Norway 62,935 3,7% 48,371 2,8% 111,306 3,2%
8  South Korea 41,433 2,4% 44,518 2,6% 85,951 2,5%
9  India 39,265 2,3% 37,800 2,2% 77,065 2,2%
10  Canada 29,094 1,7% 35,200 2,0% 64,294 1,9%
11  Brazil 29,334 1,7% 30,909 1,8% 60,243 1,7%
12  United Arab Emirates 9,201 0,5% 45,847 2,6% 55,048 1,6%
13  Mexico 19,800 1,2% 33,928 1,9% 53,728 1,6%
14  Hong Kong 18,212 1,1% 34,989 2,0% 53,201 1,5%
15  Saudi Arabia 19,010 1,1% 33,925 1,9% 52,935 1,5%
16  Singapore 19,436 1,1% 31,423 1,8% 50,859 1,5%
17  South Africa 22,853 1,3% 22,986 1,3% 45,839 1,3%
18  Taiwan 26,057 1,5% 19,631 1,1% 45,688 1,3%
19  Australia 13,070 0,8% 32,437 1,9% 45,507 1,3%
20  Vietnam 33,064 1,0% 9,332 0,5% 42,396 1,2%
21  Algeria 16,500 1,0% 20,908 1,2% 37,408 1,1%
22  Malaysia 22,177 1,3% 13,232 0,8% 35,409 1,0%
23  Morocco 13,809 0,8% 20,791 1,2% 34,599 1,0%
24  Israel 13,197 0,8% 21,142 1,2% 34,339 1,0%
25  Thailand 20,339 1,2% 13,595 0,8% 33,934 1,0%
26  Ukraine 13,080 0,8% 16,505 0,9% 29,586 0,9%
27  Egypt 6,691 0,4% 20,644 1,2% 27,335 0,8%
28  Indonesia 14,618 0,9% 10,461 0,6% 25,079 0,7%
29  Serbia 8,724 0,5% 11,698 0,7% 20,422 0,6%
30  Nigeria 10,937 0,6% 8,961 0,5% 19,898 0,6%
Trade with partner country groupings (2012)[61]
Rank Partner region Imports (million euro) % (of total) Exports (million euro) % (of total) Total trade (million euro) % (of total)
- Total EU 1,791,727 100% 1,686,774 100% 3,478,501 100%
- ACP 99,196 5,5% 86,652 5,1% 185,848 5,3%
- Andean Community 17,728 1,0% 11,738 0,7% 29,467 0,8%
- ASEAN 100,035 5,6% 81,324 4,8% 181,360 5,2%
- BRIC 577,513 32,2% 345,198 20,5% 922,711 26,5%
- CACM 9,546 0,5% 5,354 0,3% 14,900 0,4%
- EU Candidate Countries 55,386 3,1% 89,654 5,3% 145,040 4,2%
- CIS 273,505 15,3% 172,641 10,2% 446,1460 12,8%
- EFTA 208,739 11,7% 186,222 11,0% 394,961 11,4%
- Latin America Countries 109,978 6,1% 110,297 6,5% 220,275 6,3%
- MEDA(Excl. EU and Turkey) 73,341 4,1% 92,812 5,5% 166,153 4,8%
- Mercosur 49,196 2,7% 50,266 3,0% 99,461 2,9%
- NAFTA 255,657 14,3% 351,090 20,8% 606,746 17,4%

Regional variation

Comparing the richest areas of the EU can be a difficult task. This is because the NUTS 1 & 2 regions are not homogenous, some of them being very large regions, such as NUTS-1 Hesse (21,100 km²) or NUTS-1 Île-de-France (12,011 km²), whilst other NUTS regions are much smaller, for example NUTS-1 Hamburg (755 km²) or NUTS-1 Greater London (1,580 km²). An extreme example is Finland, which is divided for historical reasons into mainland Finland with 5.3 million inhabitants and Åland, an autonomous archipelago with a population of 27,000, or about the population of a small Finnish city.

One problem with this data is that some areas, including Greater London, are subject to a large number of commuters coming into the area, thereby artificially inflating the figures. It has the effect of raising GDP but not altering the number of people living in the area, inflating the GDP per capita figure. Similar problems can be produced by a large number of tourists visiting the area. The data is used to define regions that are supported with financial aid in programs such as the European Regional Development Fund. The decision to delineate a Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) region is to a large extent arbitrary (i.e. not based on objective and uniform criteria across Europe), and is decided at European level (See also: Regions of the European Union).

NUTS-1 and NUTS-2 regions

The 10 NUTS-1 and NUTS-2 regions with the highest GDP per capita are almost all, except two, in the first fifteen-member states: Prague and Bratislava are the only ones in the 13 new member states that joined in May 2004, January 2007 and July 2013. The leading regions in the ranking of NUTS-2 regional GDP per inhabitant in 2016 were Inner London-West in the United Kingdom (611% of the average), the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (257%) and Southern and Eastern Ireland (217%). Figures for these three regions, however, are artificially inflated by the commuters who do not reside in these regions ("Net commuter inflows in these regions push up production to a level that could not be achieved by the resident active population on its own. The result is that GDP per inhabitant appears to be overestimated in these regions and underestimated in regions with commuter outflows."[63]).

Another example of artificial inflation is Groningen. The calculated GDP per capita is very high because of the large natural gas reserves in this region, but Groningen is one of the poorest parts in the Netherlands. Among the 19 NUTS-2 regions exceeding the 150% level, five were in Germany, three in the United Kingdom, two in Austria, one each in Belgium, the Czech republic, Denmark, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Sweden, as well as in the single region Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The NUTS Regulation lays down a minimum population size of 3 million and a maximum size of 7 million for the average NUTS-1 region, whereas a minimum of 800,000 and a maximum of 3 million for NUTS-2 regions.¹[64] This definition, however, is not respected by Eurostat. E.g.: the région of Île-de-France, with 11.6 million inhabitants, is treated as a NUTS-2 region, while the state Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, with only 664,000 inhabitants, is treated as a NUTS-1 region.

Source: Eurostat[63]

Among the ten lowest regions in the ranking in 2016 most were in Bulgaria, with the lowest figure recorded in Severozapaden. Among the 21 regions below the 50% level, five were in Bulgaria and Poland each, four in Hungary, three each in Romania and Greece, and one in France.[63]

Source: Eurostat[63]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d Serbia is a negotiating candidate to the EU.
  2. ^ a b c d Montenegro is a negotiating candidate to the EU.

References

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  64. ^ [1]
  • ^ Cells shaded in green indicate forecast figure
  • ^ One region may be classified by Eurostat as a NUTS-1, NUTS-2 as well as a NUTS-3 region. Several NUTS-1 regions are also classified as NUTS-2 regions such as Brussels-Capital or Ile-de-France. Many countries are only classified as a single NUTS-1 and a single NUTS-2 region such as Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg and (although over 3 million inhabitants) Denmark.
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The following links are used for the GDP growth and GDP totals (IMF):

  • Link to 10 new memberstates Growth Rates
  • Link to Growth Rates for the Eurozone
  • Link to non-Eurozone EU15 countries Growth Rates

External links

  • European Commission – Economic and Financial Affairs
  • Eurostat – Statistics Explained – All articles on economy and finance
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