Socialists shift France to an austerity budget

France's Socialist government unveiled an austerity budget for 1983, reinforcing its drive to curb inflation and marking a contrast with the expansionist policies of its first year in office.

Outlining the budget bill after its approval by the Cabinet, a presidential spokesman said state spending was set to increase 11.8 percent to $125.8 billion next year. This compares with a 28 percent increase in the 1982 budget. The spokesman said the 1983 deficit had been set at $16.8 billion, a 24 percent rise on last year's target and within the ceiling of 3 percent of gross domestic product set by President Francois Mitterrand earlier this year.

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