Spain public deficit nears target: government

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Spain's state budget deficit fell to 4.84 percent of gross domestic product in the first 11 months of 2011, approaching the target for the year, the government said Tuesday.

The shortfall came to 52.39 billion euros over the January to November period, the economy ministry said in a statement. The deficit was down 4.9 percent compared to the same period last year.

The state deficit figure does not include Spain's 17 autonomous but centrally-funded regions, whose own individual accounts have raised concerns for the country's overall public deficit.

The government's official target this year is for a 4.8 percent state deficit excluding the regions and an overall public deficit of 6.0 percent, a level which new Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has warned may not be met.

However, "the figures for November allow us to anticipate that the state will meet its aim" to cut the state budget deficit, the ministry said on Tuesday.

Spain is carrying out tough spending cuts to calm concerns for its financial stability.

© 2011 AFP

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