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France posts wider budget deficit of $40.65bn
May 7, 2013, 11:55 am

The euro fell on news that European economies still faced first quarter recession [Getty Images]

Public expenditure in March was up by 3.5 per cent from the same month last year, said the ministry [Getty Images]

At the end of March, France recorded a wider budget deficit at 31 billion euros ($40.65 billion) compared to 29.4 billion euros a year ago, official data showed on Tuesday.

In its monthly report, the budget ministry said the widening deficit stemmed mainly from levying 2.6 billion euros early last year to establish and operate a public mobile radio network.

Public expenditure in March was up by 3.5 per cent from the same month last year despite a significant decrease in the government debt thanks to low interest rates, the ministry added.

As for revenue, a 3.6 per cent growth in net tax receipts helped the country collect two per cent more revenue which reached 69.6 billion euros over the period.

France is working hard to trim its budget gap from an expected 3.7 per cent of the GDP in 2013 to zero deficit by 2017 by squeezing public spending and bolstering competitiveness.

Last week, the European Union gave France two more years to reach its financial commitments and “to correct the excessive deficit at the latest by 2015” instead of 2013, blaming the grim economic climate in the bloc.

Source: Agencies

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