September 19, 2017 / 6:08 AM / a year ago

French minister Le Maire says budget deficit revised down to 2.9 pct in 2017

PARIS, Sept 19 (Reuters) - The French government has revised the country’s budget deficit forecast down to 2.9 percent of output this year and 2.6 percent next year, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday.

The earlier projection had been 3.0 percent in 2017 and 2.7 percent in 2018. Le Maire’s announcement confirmed an earlier report on those targets by financial newspaper Les Echos.

“In 2017, we’re targeting 2.9 percent of public deficit and in 2018, we’re targeting 2.6 percent,” Le Maire said in an interview with France 2 television.

“It’s a little better than what we first indicated to lawmakers, because the growth is a little better,” he said.

Le Maire added that the government aimed to cut public spending by 16 billion euros ($19.2 billion) in 2018.

On Monday, Le Maire and French budget minister Gerald Darmanin said that France’s economic recovery was strong enough for the government to be able to cut spending and the deficit without growth being affected.

$1 = 0.8346 euros Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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