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Spain's 2011 Deficit May Reach 8%

Tue 11th Oct 2011

Recent figures released by Spain's INE have revealed how this years austerity measures have had little impact on the deficit level over the first six months of 2011.

Central Government had set itself the target of reducing the the deficit from a worrying 9.3% of GDP in 2010, to 6.0% in 2011, with an ultimate goal of reaching 3.0% by the end of 2013.

However, the inability of central government to rein in Regional spending now means that the actual figure reached by the end of 2011 is more likely to be between 7.5 - 8.0%.

The Prime Minister blamed the problem on the regions, many of which only seriously began to cut spending after May elections, he said.

Finance Minister Elena Salgado has repeatedly promised to meet the 6.0% target by the end of the year, brushing aside suggestions that her department should revise their forecast, in spite of worsening data : "Our objective of a 6% deficit at year's end will not be given up on," a finance ministry spokesman reaffirmed. "We have said many times that we will do whatever it takes to meet that."

A Poll of 18 industry analysts published last week ahead of the report by the INE shows an expected deficit with an average of 6.5% of GDP.

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