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Germany cuts deficit sooner than expected

(Xinhua)

10:15, August 23, 2011

BERLIN, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- The German Finance Ministry said on Monday that the country's projected budget deficit would be down to 1.5 percent from 2.5 percent this year, a demonstration that the Europe's powerhouse has balanced its public finances sooner than expected.

"The positive development this year will continue until 2015, which will allow us to balance the accounts in 2014," the ministry said in a monthly report.

Germany previously aimed to balance its finances by 2016 under a law requiring the government to cup its expenditure.

As a result of last year's economic expansion policy to hedge off the recession, Germany had a deficit of 3.3 percent in 2010, above the ceiling of 3.0 percent set by European Union (EU).

Under the terms of the EU's Stability and Growth Pact, EU governments are required to limit the public deficit within 3.0 percent of the country's GDP.

Meanwhile, the total accumulated debt "will fall between now and the end of the year to 80 percent of GDP and will thus be about three percentage points lower than in the previous year," the ministry's report said.

In 2015, Germany forecasts public debt equivalent to 71 percent of GDP, down from 2010's 83.2 percent, still well above the EU limit of 60 percent.

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