PARIS, April 6 (Xinhua) -- France narrowed budget deficit to 24.2 billion euros (31.6 billion U.S. dollars) at the end of February, down by 13.5 percent year-on-year, the budget ministry said on Friday, attributing the improvement to growing revenue.
French revenues reached 45.4 billion euros, up 13.5 percent from the same month in 2011 thanks to higher tax receipt which totaled 43.2 billion compared to 39.2 billion euros collected in the year before, the official figure showed.
The public expenditure in February rose to 63.6 billion euros in total from 57 billion euros in the same period in 2011, which is in line with the government forecast, according to the statement.
France, the eurozone second largest economy, announced better-than-expected public deficit at 5.2 percent in 2011, from a previous forecast of 5.7 percent. For 2012, the goal was set at 4.5 percent, according to the country's 2012 budget draft.
Incumbent French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday vowed to cut public gap to 3 percent in 2013 and zero deficit in 2016 if he will be re-elected, before reporting 0.5 percent surplus of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017.