FRANCE will probably miss this year's public deficit goal, foreign minister Laurent Fabius said.

The country is battling to maintain its credibility with European Union partners, rating agencies and financial markets in the face of misgivings over its economic reforms and cut the budget gap this year to 3% of economic output.

Asked if France would overshoot the target, Mr Fabius said: "I think it's likely, and that means we must both avoid squeezing what remains of growth while being responsible and making sure the word 'savings' is part of our vocabulary."

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Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said there was no change in the government's goal of 0.8% economic growth in 2013 and a nominal deficit of 3% of GDP.