France trims 2012 deficit target to 4.4 pct of GDP

PARIS, March 30 Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:21am EDT

PARIS, March 30 (Reuters) - The French government is adjusting its 2012 public deficit target to 4.4 percent of gross domestic product from an earlier goal of 4.5 percent, Budget Minister Valerie Pecresse said in an interview in Le Monde newspaper on Friday.

Pecresse announced the marginally lower target shortly after President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is seeking a second term in an April-May election, that the 2011 deficit came in at 5.2 percent of GDP, lower than the 5.3 percent level flagged previously and an initial target of 5.7 percent.