Moscovici Says France Met 2012 Deficit Target as Spending Fell

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said that France met its deficit target last year as state spending declined.

The French state’s budget deficit was 87.2 billion euros last year, according to the finance ministry’s latest estimate, Moscovici said in an e-mailed statement.

Total state spending fell by 300,000 euros, its first ever decline, as President Francois Hollande’s government benefited from lower debt-service charges. The entire 2.5 billion-euros saved due to lower interest rates were channelled into deficit reduction, Moscovici said.

The improvement is also thanks to an “exemplary” spending discipline, Moscovici said.

A final estimate of France’s 2012 deficit, including local government and social security finances, will be published at the end of March.

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