Despite economic pessimism and a controversial political situation, the outlook for France’s luxury economy remains strong France is the ninth largest economy in the world and the third biggest in Europe. With at least 79m foreign tourists per year, it is the most visited country in the world and maintains the third largest income in the world from tourism. France is also arguably the home of industrialised luxury goods, which has rapidly evolved from a scattered collection of craftsmen and women, to a consolidated megalith contributing €217 billion to the global economy. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading luxury products group, recorded revenue of €29.1 billion in 2013, an increase of 4% over the previous year. Organic revenue growth was 8%. Collectively, European brands account for at least 70% of the global luxury goods market, driven predominantly by those made in Italy and France. The output of the sector in 2010 was estimated to be over €440 billion, approximately 3% of European GD). The sector is a key exporter, with approximately 60% of output exported. Comité Colbert estimates suggest that total exports for the sector were approximately €260 billion in 2010, representing over 10% of all exports from Europe. The European luxury sector employs approximately one million workers directly, and at least a further 500,000 workers indirectly. Key products manufactured in France include leather goods, textiles, fine wines, fine spirits and high jewellery to name but a few. The luxury hospitality sector is also a key driver of employment and revenue. Comité Colbert believe that the European luxury sector contributes in excess of €110 billion to the tax authorities through sales, corporate and export taxes and through the personal income tax paid by workers in the sector. The impact of such contributions on France alone has not yet been measured, but as one of the biggest producers and exporters, the implications are clear.
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