Le Maire Says France Pulled in Extra €3 Billion in Tax Receipts

(Bloomberg) -- Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said French state coffers have been strengthened by higher-than-expected tax earnings, projecting more optimism about the economy just days before the first round of legislative elections.

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“Our tax revenues today are good,” he said in an interview with BFM TV late on Wednesday. “We have €3 billion ($3.2 billion) of extra revenues compared with what we forecast in May 2024. That’s good news.”

The nation had “a revenue accident” last year that took the deficit to 5.5% instead of below 5%, he said, adding that savings on spending will narrow the figure to 5.1% this year.

“In 2025, we should be at 4.1%,” he said. “In 2026, we’ll be slightly above 3% and in 2027 we’ll be at 3%.”

The economy has been at the center of the legislative election campaign as the far-right National Rally and a coalition of leftist parties have taken aim at President Emmanuel Macron’s record on maintaining public finances and protecting purchasing power. The government was forced to revise long-term plans to plug holes in the budget earlier this year, while S&P Global Ratings downgraded France last month and the EU has since put the country in a special procedure for member states with excessive deficits.

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