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France to miss 2013 deficit target, lowers 2014 growth

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said Wednesday that France's 2013 public deficit would hit 4.1% of GDP, higher than the 3.9% agreed with the European Union, and lowered the 2014 growth forecast by a third of a point to 0.9%.

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Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said Wednesday that France would fail to reach the deficit target it agreed with the EU for this year and lowered the government's growth forecast for 2014.

Moscovici said France's 2013 public deficit will come in at 4.1 percent of GDP, higher than the 3.9 percent agreed with the European Union.

But he said the 2014 deficit will come in at 3.6 percent and that France plans to push it back under the EU ceiling of 3.0 percent of GDP in 2015, which is the agreed deadline with Brussels.

He also said France was lowering its forecast for economic growth in 2014 to 0.9 percent, but maintaining its prediction for 0.1 percent growth this year.

The government has previously predicted 1.2 percent economic growth for next year.

In May, the European Commission gave France an additional two years to bring its public deficit back under the EU ceiling of 3.0 percent of GDP.

It said France should cut the public deficit from 4.8 percent of GDP in 2012 to 3.9 percent in 2013, then 3.6 percent in 2014 and 2.8 percent in 2015.

(AFP)

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