In the autumn economic forecasts released on Thursday, the European Commission put itself in line with the government's forecasts for the deficit this year, estimating a reduction to 0.1% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (compared to the deficit of 0.4% recorded in 2018), while in the spring forecasts in May, it anticipated a deficit of 0.4%.

For 2020, the community executive improved to zero deficit (0% of GDP) the estimate for the budget balance, compared to the deficit of 0.1% estimated in May.

"The general government deficit is expected to decrease to 0.1% of GDP in 2019, supported by still dynamic cyclical revenues, a reduction in interest expenditure and public investment below the budget," the Commission said in the document.

"However, the deficit is negatively affected by a new activation of the Contingency Capital Facility for Novo Banco (the New Bank) (0.6% of GDP)," the EU executive said, adding that "excluding this and other one-off measures, the budget balance should reach a surplus of 0.5% of GDP" this year.