The French government is presenting its 2017 budget, including 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) in tax cuts that are expected to benefit 5 million low and middle-income households. The budget detailed at a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday is based on expected economic growth of 1.5 percent both this year and next. The International Monetary Fund forecasts only 1.2 percent growth next year. The government vows to bring the deficit to 2.7 percent of gross domestic product, which would be within the EU limit of 3 percent for the first time since 2007. The economy is expected to be a major concern for French voters ahead of the presidential election in April-May 2017. Unemployment has been hovering around 10 percent for years.
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