Tags: EU | France | Deficit

France Cuts Deficit Views After Strong Growth

Wednesday, 20 Jan 2010 07:49 AM

The French government on Wednesday cut its budget deficit forecasts thanks to better than expected economic growth.

French Budget Minister Eric Woerth shaved three-tenths of a percentage point off his deficit forecast for both 2009 and 2010 after stronger growth boosted tax receipts and cut welfare spending.

France's expected growth rate this year at 1.4 percent is almost double previous forecasts.

In a revised 2010 budget presented to cabinet on Wednesday, Woerth said his revised 2010 budget foresees a budget gap of 8.2 percent of gross domestic product this year. While lower than the 8.5 percent of GDP forecast in September, it is still a record.

The 2009 budget gap is now tabled at 7.9 percent of GDP, down from 8.2 percent, helped by government savings.

But Woerth cautioned that the economy still remains fragile.

"The future is uncertain," he told journalists.

European Union rules officially cap budget deficits at 3 percent of GDP, but governments quickly found excuses to break the limits and the rules were softened, even before they massively increased spending to ward off the worst of the economic crisis.

In 2009, according to EU commission forecasts for the 16 countries who use the euro, only tiny Luxembourg and Finland kept their deficits below 3 percent.

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The French government on Wednesday cut its budget deficit forecasts thanks to better than expected economic growth.French Budget Minister Eric Woerth shaved three-tenths of a percentage point off his deficit forecast for both 2009 and 2010 after stronger growth boosted tax...
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2010-49-20
Wednesday, 20 Jan 2010 07:49 AM
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