France's 2019 budget will be based on a forecast of only 1.7-percent growth in gross domestic product (GDP), Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said yesterday.
Philippe hinted that the government, which had previously hoped for 1.9-per-cent growth, in line with earlier figures from the Banque de France, would be flexible about its plans to keep the budget deficit to 2.3 per cent of GDP. There would, in any case, be "a rebound" in the deficit in 2019 due to tax cuts on businesses.
If growth slowed down "there will inevitably be an impact," Philippe said in an interview with Sunday newspaper Le Journal de Dimanche. President Emmanuel Macron has prioritized reducing the budget deficit to below the maximum of 3 per cent of GDP set in European Union rules.
Last year's budget deficit was 2.6 per cent, leading the EU to end its excessive deficit procedure against France in June, after nine years. France's economic growth stood at 2.2 per cent in 2017, its best figure since 2011.
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