French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Wednesday that France was unlikely to achieve its target of reducing its public deficit to 3.0 percent of output this year.
"I think it is probable," he replied when asked in a TV interview if he thought France would not be able to keep its promise to reduce its annual deficit to three percent of GDP, the threshold imposed on members of the eurozone.
Later, Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici signalled that France might revise is targets for growth of 0.8 percent, and for reducing the public deficit to less than 3.0 percent of output this year.
Saying that the targets were being held for the moment, Moscovici said after a cabinet meeting that the situation was difficult and that "if necessary we are able to have another look, to re-examine the different targets" for growth and for reduction of the public deficit.
At Deutsche Bank, analyst Gilles Moec commented: "Two statements today by government heavyweights suggest that the target is soon to be 're-assessed'.
"At the same time, we think the government will try to keep the market – and its European partners – on its side by announcing in more concrete terms how spending cuts – and not just tax hikes – will participate to the fiscal consolidation."
On Tuesday, the independent French public accounts court warned that the estimates behind the target for reducing the public deficit were not realistic and that the government had to focus much harder on cutting expenditure.