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Federal budget set to return to the black

The federal budget deficit is expected to total SFr100 million ($57.5million) next year before returning to the black in 2002.

The cabinet agreed next year’s budget at a meeting on Wednesday. It also adopted the financial plan for 2002 to 2004.

Presenting the figures at a news conference in Berne, the finance minister, Kaspar Villiger, said the improvement in the federal finances would be brought about partly because of improved economic conditions and partly because of measures to cut costs.

In the longer term, the finance ministry is forecasting a SFr200 million surplus for the federal budget in 2002. This is expected to rise to SFr1.3 billion by 2004.

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