August 1, 2018 / 3:53 PM / 5 months ago

French GDP growth will not be lower than 1.8 percent in 2018 - minister

French Minister of Public Action and Accounts Gerald Darmanin leaves the Elysee Palace following the weekly cabinet meeting in Paris, France, February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s economy will grow by at least 1.8 percent in 2018, Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Wednesday, as the government prepares for a likely cut in its 2018 growth forecast following a weaker than expected second quarter.

The government’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth target stands at 2 percent, though Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire flagged on Tuesday that this was likely to be revised, without saying by how much.

“We’ll have to wait for the end of August or maybe the beginning of September, to be certain of what the change will be,” Darmanin told parliament. “Whatever happens, (the growth rate) will not be lower than 1.8 percent.”

Darmanin also said that France’s goal of cutting its public deficit to 2.3 percent of GDP from 2.6 percent in 2017 would not change as a result of an altered growth outlook.

Reporting by Yann Le Guernigou and Myriam Rivet, Writing by Sarah White, Editing by Richard Lough

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