France will miss its public deficit target for 2014 but aims to restrict spending a get into line with European Union deficit requirements in 2015, according to sources in the French Cabinet.
At the regular meeting of the government Wednesday, it was agreed that the government strategy would be to limit the deficit this year to 3.8 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) compared with the original target of 3.6 percent of GDP.
In 2013, France missed its target of 4.1 percent, recording a deficit of 4.3 percent that year.
But the government was adamant it will achieve the EU requirement of limiting the deficit to 3.0 percent of GDP by the end of 2015.
This will be done, in part, through an austerity package that will shave Euros 50 billion (USD 69 billion) off spending in the next 20 months or so, mainly through cuts in health care and certain benefits and restrictions on other government expenditures.
Adopting what it labeled a "Stability Pact", the Cabinet agreed Wednesday that France should grow by 1.0 percent in 2014 and by a further 1.7 percent in 2015, with economic expansion accelerating to 2.25 percent in 2016-2017.
If these figures hold true, France expects to cut its public deficit to 1.3 percent of GDP by 2017 and should reach equilibrium shortly afterwards for the first time since 2006