Budget for 2016
The Minister of Finance and Public Accounts and the Minister of State for the Budget set out the budget for 2016.
This is a budget of pledges honoured. It is also a budget where the damage from the crisis years is absorbed into the economic situation and the public finances.
After a three-year slowdown in economic activity, the economic recovery is under way and is spreading through the economy. 2015 will be the first year of actual recovery, because growth will settle at 1%, in line with the cautious estimate associated with the initial budget for 2015. This approach of clear-sighted forecasting is also prevailing this year, because the 1.5% growth forecast chosen is identical to the economists’ consensus.
The effect of the government’s policies thus combines with a favourable external environment to support growth and employment. Households are noting the increase in their purchasing power, and in September their confidence reached its highest level since 2007. The business climate is at its highest level for four years, thanks to clearly-recovering business mark-ups, robust domestic demand and an increase in the pace of exports. In this context, with favourable financing conditions, the recovery is strengthening and spreading – with an economy starting to create jobs again and investment picking up once more.
The pledges made by the government are being honoured. The public deficit for 2014 was better than expected, down 3.9% thanks to the savings made, while financing the government’s priorities: the rise in expenditure has been limited to a 0.9% increase at current prices, i.e. a historic low. The reduction in deficits is continuing: after 3.8% in 2015, the public deficit will reach 3.3% in 2016 before going back below the 3% threshold in 2017. As a consequence of the pickup in growth and the deficit reduction, the public debt will be stabilized at 96.5% of GDP, before gradually diminishing. (…)./.