August 27, 2018 / 8:08 AM / 3 months ago

French budget deficit seen at 2.6 percent of GDP this year: minister

Tourists look at Eiffel Tower keychains displayed in a souvenir shop in Paris, France August 2, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s public sector budget deficit is expected to come in worse than expect this year at around 2.6 percent of economic output, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday.

Le Maire told journalists that slower than previously expected growth would push the deficit to 2.5 percent instead of the 2.3 percent expected so far.

The government’s decision to take over debt from the SNCF public railway would add further pressure on the deficit, pushing it to 2.6 percent, he added.

“The aim for 2018 remains to respect the (EU limit of) three percent... but we will not be at 2.3 percent,” Le Maire said.

Reporting by Leigh Thomas, Yann Le Guernigou and Myriam Rivet; Editing by Geert De Clercq

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