France raises deficit forecasts for 2014 and 2015, barely meeting EU target

The Associated Press

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, left, and French president Francois Hollande leave at the end of the Cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris Wednesday, April . 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)

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PARIS (AP) — The French government has raised its public deficit forecasts amid slow growth, but is still pledging to meet the European Union deficit target of 3 percent next year.

A plan aimed at reducing France's debt over the next three years was presented Wednesday during a Cabinet meeting. It raises the 2014 public deficit forecast from 3.6 percent of France's annual gross domestic product to 3.8 percent, and the 2015 forecast from 2.8 percent to 3 percent.

France's Socialist government has already outlined a 50 billion euros ($29 billion) effort in state spending cuts by 2017.

The plan also confirmed growth forecasts of 1 percent in 2014 and 1.7 percent in 2015.

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