France Says Public Debt To Hit Record In 2014
Paris (AFP) – France said Wednesday its public debt would hit a record 95.1 percent of GDP in 2014, far higher than previous estimates, as it unveiled next year’s draft budget for the embattled eurozone economy.
But the government said debt should fall back in 2015, and reiterated a pledge to meet its EU-mandated deadline to bring the public deficit below three percent that year.
The draft budget was presented to the cabinet by Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici and Budget Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, who outlined “unprecedented” 15-billion-euro ($20-billion) cuts in public spending as France tries to rein in its public deficit without compromising growth.
The country is battling to rekindle tepid economic growth back amid record-high unemployment, limited investment and low consumer spending.
Some 80 percent of fiscal savings next year will come from cuts in public spending and 20 percent from a rise in taxes, the ministers said.
These decisions are based on an estimated 0.9 percent rise in GDP next year, close to a consensus of 0.8 percent amongst French economists.
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