French budget deficit up again as Hollande fails to restore growth

Tim Wallace
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THE FRENCH government will miss its borrowing targets again this year, the state conceded yesterday.

It now expects to run a deficit of 4.4 per cent of GDP, up from a previous pledge to borrow 3.8 per cent.

All Eurozone members are supposed to run deficits of below three per cent of GDP.

France had already been granted extra leeway, but now says it would not meet the target until 2017.

President Francois Hollande swept to power in 2012 vowing to bring jobs and economic growth, challenging what he saw as excessive fiscal austerity in Europe. But the economy is still stagnating, and Hollande’s approval ratings have slumped to record lows.
Data published yesterday showed the country’s manufacturing output fell by 0.3 per cent in July on the month, though energy output rose by 1.8 per cent.