French Finance Minister Francois Baroin on Wednesday said the double impact of a sluggish growth and volatile financial markets would not taint the country's "stable" economic outlook.
In an interview with the local business daily Les Echos, Baroin stressed that France still enjoyed its triple A credit rating despite "exceptional disturbances across the euro area."
"France has not lost its triple A rating and has a stable outlook from all agencies... Growth of 0.4 percent in the third quarter guarantees our goals of ensuring development of the activities and reducing the public deficit in 2011," the minister said.
Baroin reiterated that the government had planned in next year's draft budget "the leeway needed to keep... deficit target in 2012 in case of further slowdown of the economy."
"Even at 0.5 percent of growth, we might face (the deficit challenge)," he added in response to a Brussels call for more efforts to cut deficit.
Early this month, Sarkozy government announced a fresh package of austerity measures to garner additional 7 billion euros (9.46 billion U.S. dollars) in 2012 and 17.4 billion euros (23.53 billion U.S. dollars) over the coming five years.
"This plan is based on structural and fair reforms which weigh as little as possible on the purchasing power, a key driver of our growth," the French Finance Minister told Les Echos.
Initially set at 2.25 percent, French growth rate was revised down to 1 percent for 2012.
As to deficit, the government wants to narrow the figure to 4.5 percent of national output from an expected 5.7 percent this year.