France intent on cutting back budget deficit

8th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 8 (AFP) - France stands by a target for the economy to grow by 2.5 percent this year, despite uncertainty over the international context, Economy and Finance Minister Herve Gaymard said on Tuesday.

PARIS, Feb 8 (AFP) - France stands by a target for the economy to grow by 2.5 percent this year, despite uncertainty over the international context, Economy and Finance Minister Herve Gaymard said on Tuesday.

Gaymard also said that the latest estimate for growth in 2004 was 2.4 percent, describing this as an "excellent" result.

Earlier he had said that the French economy had grown by 2.2 percent in 2004, commenting: "Growth was good last year compared with growth in the rest of the eurozone."

He continued in a speech outlining economic policy over the next 30 months: "But that should not be enough to satisfy us, even so. I am holding the course for growth of 2.5 percent this year even if we all know about the uncertainties arising from the international environment.

"I am not satisfied when potential for growth is constrained by an invisible ceiling owing to our inability to face up to things and to deal with a certain number of structural obstacles in our economy."

The governor of the Bank of France, Christian Noyer, had said on Monday that French growth of 2.5 percent this year was within "the zone of plausibility".

However, analysts generally foresee growth of 1.8 percent.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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