France says controlling inflation is main priority for 2023 budget

The fight against inflation is the biggest priority, France’s finance minister said on Monday, as he delivered a 2023 budget subject to what he called ‘unprecedented uncertainty’ due to the fallout from Russia’s war against Ukraine. “The most important and most urgent challenge for France and other European nations is to bring down the inflation pressure,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told journalists as he presented the 2023 budget bill.
The ministry said it had budgeted 45 billion euros ($43.6 billion) next year to cap increases in gas and power prices at 15%, although special levies on energy companies was expected to bring the net cost to 12 billion euros, lower than the 16 billion previously flagged. The Finance Ministry forecast earlier this month that the economy would grow 2.7% this year before slowing to 1% next year, while the central bank expects 0.8% next year at best.Despite the slowdown, the ministry expects to be able to keep the public sector budget deficit steady next year at 5% of economic output, leaving the public finances on target to be within an EU-imposed ceiling by 2027.

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