BRUSSELS, Feb 5 (Reuters) - France needs to cut its structural deficit this year by more than currently expected to comply with the minimum requirements of EU budget rules, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Pierre Moscovici said on Thursday.
Under EU rules governments must cut their structural deficit -- one that excludes the effects of the economy cycle and one off revenues and spending -- by at least 0.5 percent of GDP every year until the reach balance.
The Commission expects France will reduce its structural deficit by only 0.3 percent of GDP this year.
"Our estimate is that certain measures will be necessary to bridge this gap... there is a gap between 0.3 percent and 0.5 percent so an effort needs to be made," Moscovici told a news conference.
He said the Commission was also looking at French structural reform plans and would make an evaluation of the country's efforts to comply with EU budget rules on February 27. (Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)