Economists pour more cold water on government’s economic forecasts

Twenty-five economists consulted by business daily Bloomberg have “cut their estimates for the growth of the Portuguese economy” this year, reports negóciosonline. The money men point to a GDP increase of only 1.6% and an overall deficit above the 3% stipulated by Brussels. Forecasts for the next two years have also been reduced, to 1.7% in 2016 and 1.5% in 2017. Unemployment, however, has been revised downwards.

According to Bloomberg, 12 economists consulted solely on this aspect suggested figures could be down to 12.6% by the end of this year “which represents an improvement” on forecasts that had pointed to 13.2%.

For 2016, forecasts are being pegged at 12.2% and “the following year at 11.5%”.

But before the launching of any celebratory fireworks, it should be pointed out that 70% of Portugal’s “chronic unemployed” are not receiving unemployment benefit (see separate story), and thus the criticism that Portugal’s true situation is being cleverly ‘masked’ by unrepresentative data.

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