Singapore budget

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Friday he expects a budget surplus of $263 million in the current financial year to March 2006, well above his earlier estimate. “Our fiscal position is good,” Lee told parliament as he began unveiling the year to March 2007 national budget, “I expect a budget surplus of 0.2 per cent of GDP, for fiscal year 2005, slightly higher than I had predicted in last year’s budget statement.” — AFP

French deficit $40.5b

PARIS: France had a current account deficit of $40.5 billion in 2005, a five-fold increase compared with the figure for 2004. The main reason for the increase was a deterioration in the trade balance, particularly the balance of trade in goods. As a proportion of GDP, the current account deficit in 2005 measured two per cent compared to 0.4 per cent in 2004. — AFP