The French government has revised the country's budget deficit forecast down to 2.9% of output this year and 2.6% next year, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said today. 

The earlier projection had been 3% in 2017 and 2.7% in 2018. 

Le Maire's announcement confirmed an earlier report on those targets by financial newspaper Les Echos. 

"In 2017, we're targeting 2.9% of public deficit and in 2018, we're targeting 2.6%," Le Maire said in an interview with France 2 television. 

"It's a little better than what we first indicated to lawmakers, because the growth is a little better," he said. 

Le Maire added that the government aimed to cut public spending by €16 billion in 2018. 

Le Maire and French budget minister Gerald Darmanin said yesterday that France's economic recovery was strong enough for the government to be able to cut spending and the deficit without growth being affected.