At the end of March, France recorded a budget deficit of 27.5 billion euros (31.2 billion U.S. dollars) compared to 26.3 billion euros registered the same month last year, government data showed on Tuesday.
In its monthly report, the budget ministry said the widening deficit stemmed mainly from advancing 5.4 billion euros to the Services and Payment Agency for agricultural sector financing.
Public expenditure in March was valued 85.7 billion euros, down by 3.2 percent from the same month last year, but in line with the government fiscal target, the ministry added.
As for revenue, a three-percent growth in net tax receipts helped the country collect 3.2 percent more revenue which reached 76.7 billion euros over the period.
The French government estimates the budget deficit at 3.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year. It pledged to lower the figure to 2.8 percent, below the European Union-mandated 3.0 percent threshold by 2017.
To comply with European Union targets, France has introduced a series of measures including a public spending squeeze and a labor reform pact aimed at spurring investment and breathing life into the sluggish job market. (1 euro=1.14 U.S. dollars)