French deficit, public debt in 2013 worse than expected

Monday 31 March 2014 07.40
The French public deficit stood at 4.3% of GDP in 2013, compared with 4.9% in 2012
The French public deficit stood at 4.3% of GDP in 2013, compared with 4.9% in 2012

French public deficit and debt in 2013 were higher than previous government estimates, official data showed today, dealing a fresh blow to President Francois Hollande a day after disastrous local polls. 

The French public deficit stood at 4.3% of gross domestic product (GDP), compared with 4.9% the previous year, according to data released by the INSEE statistics agency. 

Previous government estimates said it would stand at 4.1%.

Public debt meanwhile amounted to 93.5% of GDP, compared with 90.6% the previous year. The government earlier estimated it would stand at 93.4% of GDP.

The figures dealt a further blow to beleaguered Hollande, who was reeling from catastrophic local election results that saw his Socialist party trounced by the centre-right UMP as well as gains for the far-right National Front. 

France is the euro zone's second-biggest economy, and the state of its finances are closely watched by its partners, in particular economic powerhouse Germany.