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Situation and outlook of public finances

COUR DES COMPTES

The deficit of France’s public administrations was brought down to 2.6 points of GDP in 2017, i.e. a level close to that of 2007, but with a rate of compulsory tax and social security contributions and share of public spending in GDP that are three points higher than ten years ago. While the country has exited the excessive deficit procedure, public debt, which has risen by 32.3 points since 2007, now stands at 96.8 points of GDP. France’s relative situation has deteriorated compared to that of its European partners.
The deficit forecast for 2018 (2.3 points of GDP) is achievable, but with a moderate risk of it being exceeded. The 2019-2022 public finances path harbours several weaknesses, relating to growth assumptions, the fact that some of the announced reductions in compulsory levies not having been accounted for, the lack of detailed documentation regarding the slowdown in the volume of public spending that is planned from 2020 and the breakdown of balances among the different categories of public administrations.

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