French budget’s deficit 47b euros higher in 2021


France’s budget deficit for 2021 will stand at 220 billion euros, some 47 billion higher than previously estimated, Olivier Dussopt, public accounts minister, told AFP on Saturday.

The increase is “a result of supporting measures that we’re continuing to take to support the recovery” from the devastating effects that Covid-19 shutdowns wreaked on the eurozone’s second-largest economy, he said.

It is not yet clear how the revised numbers will affect the budget deficit when expressed as percentage of GDP, which was previously forecast to hit 9 percent this year, a postwar record. Public debt was previously forecast to reach 118 percent of GDP.

The Covid-19 pandemic is expected to cost the French state nearly half a trillion euros over three years 158 billion euros in 2020, an expected 171 billion euros in 2021 and a forecast 96 billion euros in 2022, Dussopt said in April. —AFP