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Spain heading toward annual deficit target

September 16, 2013

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s economy minister says the country is moving toward its deficit target for this year and will soon issue a prediction for a lower jobless rate next year.

Luis de Guindos says higher taxes, lower interest payments on government-issued debt and austerity cuts are helping the country move toward a budget deficit of 6.5 percent for 2013.

He said Monday that positive economic signs in recent months will prompt the government to predict a lower unemployment rate for 2014. But he did give any guidance on how much lower it will be than the current 27.1 percent when the forecast is issued later this month.

De Guindos says Spain’s government does not believe it will need to invoke a fresh round of unpopular austerity measures.

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