French deficit meets EU rules for first time in decade

MarketsAssociated Press

Official figures show that France's budget deficit has met European Union rules for the first time in a decade.

Statistics agency Insee said Monday the country's deficit in 2017 amounted to 2.6 percent of the country's GDP, down from 3.4 percent the year before.

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EU rules require countries to keep their deficits below 3 percent of GDP. France has not met the rule since the financial crisis of 2008.

Speaking on FranceInfo radio, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire hailed the "good news" and said the improvement provides evidence that French President Emmanuel Macron's strategy to reduce public spending is working. After coming to power last May, Macron announced a series of spending cuts.