PARIS, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Monday put the country's annual economic growth rate at 1.7 percent for 2018, lower than an initial target of 1.9 percent.
In an interview with radio station France Inter, Le Maire confirmed "a little lower" economic growth this year, due to rising oil prices and the negative impact of rail system strikes earlier this year.
"We can do better. So, I think it's time to accelerate and study all the measures that will boost our economy," he said.
On the deficit, Le Maire pledged to respect the European Union safe line of 3 percent, saying that France is expecting a budget gap of 2.6 percent, 0.3 percentage point higher than the government's previous estimate.
"In this difficult moments, the only thing that matters is to keep calm and maintain the course...I'm convinced that in a few months, it will work. That's will take time," he added.
Earlier on Monday, the France Central Bank announced a 0.4 percent growth for the third quarter, confirming previous market estimates.
The French economy grew 0.3 percent in the second quarter this year.