PARIS (Reuters) - The French government left its growth forecast for 2017 unchanged at 1.5 percent in an update on Wednesday of its long-term public finance plans, which the independent fiscal watchdog judged to be “plausible”.
The government also said it now expected a public deficit of 2.8 percent of economic output this year, revised from 2.7 percent previously after the 2016 shortfall came in slightly bigger than expected.
President Francois Hollande’s outgoing government gave the forecasts in its annual stability programme for the public finances which will be sent on to the European Commission in the coming weeks.
The government estimated the economy would grow 1.5 percent this and next year before gradually picking up to 1.7 percent in 2020. However, the forecasts may be changed under a new administration after France elects a new president next month.
The High Council for the Public Finances, which is tasked by law with giving its opinion on the government’s projections, said in a statement that those projections were a reasonable basis for building forecasts for the public finances.
Reporting by Leigh Thomas and Myriam Rivet; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta