Euro Zone At A Glance
Members: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.
Population: 291 million (US: 269 million; Japan: 126 million).
Area: 2,365,000 square kilometres
Economy: 1997 GDP: £4,400 billion (US: £5,400 billion; Japan: £2,900 billion). Public and private services account for 67.9 per cent of the euro zone's economy, compared with 30.2 per cent for industry and 1.8 per cent for agriculture.
Growth: In 1997, the economy of the 11 euro zone countries grew by 2.5 per cent (US: 3.8 per cent; Japan: 0.9 per cent). The Commission forecasts growth in the euro zone of 3 per cent in 1998, 2.6 per cent in 1999 and 2.9 per cent in 2000.
Inflation: 0.9 per cent in November.
Interest Rates: recently cut to 3 per cent.
Unemployment: 10.8 per cent in October.
Trade: 1997 exports were 25 per cent larger than those of the US and twice those of Japan; the trade surplus in the first half of 1998 was 32.8 billion in the first six months of 1998 with exports of 392.1 billion and imports of 359.4 billion.