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French 2018 budget deficit to be above 2.3% target: minister

[PARIS] Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin on Monday said weaker-than-expected growth would leave France's 2018 budget deficit higher than the targetted 2.3 per cent of national income but that it would remain below 3 per cent.

"France will be at more than 2.3 per cent. But it will respect its promise to Europe to cut its deficit below 3 per cent," Mr Darmanin said on BFM Television.

The government will tackle social spending in its next volley of reforms, even as President Emmanuel Macron faces record unpopularity.

Business daily Les Echos reported on Sunday that the government could be aiming at a 2018 deficit close to 2.6 per cent this year - the same as in 2017 - and as much as 3 per cent next year due to slowing economic growth.


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