France's deficit reaches a 12-year low
- 7 months ago
According to national statistics agency Insee, France's budget deficit has fallen to a 12-year low of 2.5% in 2018, a greater-than-expected decline achieved despite falling growth and purchasing power.
The deficit was lower than the government's forecast of 2.6%, and came as Insee revised upwards the shortfall between spending and revenue for 2017 to 2.8% of GDP, from a previous estimate of 2.6%.
Economy Minister, Bruno Le Maire stated that, "By stabilising public debt and reducing our deficit to 2.5%, more than had been forecasted, in 2018, we put an end to the steady drift of our public finances for over 10 years."
"We will continue the recovery of our accounts while continuing to lower taxes!”
Insee meanwhile revised upwards its growth estimate for 2018, from 1.5% to 1.6%, down from 2.3% a year earlier.
However, it did point out that household spending power, the main complaint of the "yellow vest" demonstrators who have staged weekly demonstrations around the country since mid-November, had decreased in 2018.
Since taking office in 2017, President Emmanuel Macron has set about in slashing the deficit to bring it in line with an EU limit of 3% of GDP, which the eurozone's second-biggest economy had persistently flouted for a decade.
But Macron had no choice last December, to relax the state’s purse strings in order to placate the fires ignited by the “yellow vet” movement, therefore announcing a €10 billion package for lower income workers which in turn boosted the economy.
Source: Smart Trend Team