economy

IMF hails ‘ambitious’ French reforms under Macron

The IMF raised its 2017 growth prediction for France by 0.1 points to 1.5% and said it could ‘further accelerate’ next year

AFP
17:22 July 17, 2017

PARIS

The IMF on Monday hailed French President Emmanuel Macron’s “ambitious” reform programme, saying his spending cuts and tax overhaul could “go a long way in addressing ... long-standing economic challenges”.

The International Monetary Fund raised its 2017 growth prediction for France by 0.1 points to 1.5 per cent and said it could “further accelerate” next year.

“The new government is pushing ahead with an ambitious economic programme to make France’s economy more dynamic and its public finances sustainable,” the IMF said after its annual analysis of the French economy.

“The envisaged labour and tax reforms are aimed at boosting growth, employment, and competitiveness,” it added.

It also said the centrist government under 39-year-old former banker Macron “has rightly emphasised” the need to decrease public spending.

The IMF said such a move “would help gradually reduce the budget deficit and debt”.

The government has pledged to meet the EU deficit limit of 3.0 per cent of GDP in 2017, a target France has missed for the past decade.

The government said last week it had identified 4.5 billion euros ($5.1 billion) in savings in order to meet the goal.

Macron took power in May after beating far-right leader Marine Le Pen in the presidential election.