Edition 1437
19 August 2017
Edition: 1437

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Government forecasts 1.8 percent GDP growth in 2017, budget deficit of 1.5 percent

by TPN/ Lusa, in Business · 20-04-2017 15:59:00 · 0 Comments

Portugal’s minister of finance, Mário Centeno, announced that the government expects the country’s economy to grow by 1.8 percent this year, and the public sector budget deficit to shrink to the equivalent of 1.5 percent of gross domestic product.

He predicted the public finances improving further in the next few years, with a 2021 surplus of 0.9 percent of GDP, without extraordinary items.
Centeno was speaking at a news conference after the day’s regular weekly cabinet meeting, at which the Socialist government approved the Stability Programme that is ultimately to be submitted to the European Union and the National Reforms Programme, which are both to be debated in parliament next week.
In October last year, when the government tabled its State Budget for 2017, the government was projecting economic growth for this year of 1.5 percent and a deficit of 1.6 percent.
“The forecast for growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017 is for 1.8 per cent and, as with last year’s Stability Programme, there will be a gradual acceleration in this growth over the term of the Programme, to 2.2 per cent in 2021,” Centeno said. He added that the government “is aiming for a public sector deficit in 2017 of 1.5 per cent.”
Further out, he said, “and fulfilling all the requirements that the country is faced with in the ambit of its active participation in the euro area, the budget balance will improve in structural terms, [so that it will] in 2021, without one-off measures, be a positive 0.9 per cent.
Centeno’s announcement came after the National Statistics Institute on Wednesday revised down its calculation of last year’s headline budget deficit to 2.0 percent from its previous estimate of 2.1 percent - a result that Centeno hailed as demonstrating the “enormous rigour” of the government’s policies. However, the Council for Public Finances, a state watchdog, had previously said that the 2016 deficit was 2.5 percent once extraordinary measures - such as a one-off tax amnesty that brought in hundreds of thousands of euros in the last few weeks of the year - are stripped out.

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Edition 1437
19 August 2017
Edition: 1437

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter