French budget deficit 47 billion euros higher in 2021: minister
Paris, France. /VCG

Paris, France. /VCG

France's budget deficit for 2021 will stand at 220 billion euros ($268 billion), some 47 billion higher than previously estimated, Olivier Dussopt, public accounts minister, said 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 ($192 billion) in 2020, an expected 171 billion euros ($208 billion) in 2021 and a forecast 96 billion euros ($117 billion) in 2022, Dussopt said in April. 

France has borrowed heavily to try to keep the economy afloat through three nationwide lockdowns, including money spent on supporting salaries of people furloughed and aid for companies struggling to stay afloat during the crisis.

Source(s): AFP

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