French deficit to fall to 3.7 per cent of GDP in 2013, above goal to get in line with EU rules

PARIS – France says it will only be able to cut its deficit to 3.7 per cent of gross domestic product this year — above the 3 per cent limit set by the European Union.

President Francois Hollande gave a new deficit figure for the first time Tuesday. The French government has previously warned it would miss its target because of slower-than-expected growth.

France’s 2013 budget was built around expectations that the economy would grow 0.8 per cent in 2013. The European Commission expects GDP to eke out just 0.1 per cent growth for the year.

Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici ruled out further austerity measures for France earlier this month, saying it would only worsen the country’s growth prospects. He indicated the European Commission would give France more time to cut its deficit instead.