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Business

Germany Raises Deficit Projection for 2004

Germany raised its projections for public deficit spending in 2004, saying it would be equal to 3.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), a finance ministry report sent to the European Commission stated on Saturday. The estimate was revised upwards from the 3.25 percent figure regularly cited by Berlin earlier in the year. If confirmed, this would make 2004 the third year running that Germany, the European Union's largest economy, exceeds the limits set by the Stability and Growth Pact, under which eurozone members may not have public deficits in excess of 3.0 percent of GDP. Berlin's deficit ratio in 2003 was 3.9 percent, or €82.1 billion ($102.0 billion), up from 3.5 percent in 2002. The government has pledged to bring its public deficit back below the 3.0 percent ceiling in 2005.