September 25, 2017 / 9:47 AM / a year ago

French government says investment spending will not affect deficit

PARIS (Reuters) - French government plans to invest 57 billion euro (50.09 billion pounds)over five years will not be a burden on the public deficit, it said on Monday as it outlined a new investment drive.

FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech to mark the 500th anniversary of Protestant Reform at the Hotel de Ville City Hall in Paris, France, September 22, 2017. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

The overall figure is slightly higher than 50 billion euros that President Emmanuel Macron promised during the presidential campaign as a way to modernise the economy.

The government said in a statement 20 billion euros is set to go to environment-related areas, 15 billion to professional training, 13 billion euros to supporting innovation and 9 billion to increased use of technology by the government.

The plan would not weigh on the deficit because its financing would in part rely on loans, equity investments and a guarantee fund, the statement said.

However, it does include 24 billion euros in new funds that have been incorporated into budget plans over the next five years, said economist Jean Pisani-Ferry, who was tasked by the government to come up with the investment plan.

Reporting by Jean-Baptiste Vey; writing by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Brian Love

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