Portugal’s deficit plunges, but public debt is still ‘sky high’

Eurostat has confirmed that Portugal’s deficit for 2016 came in at 2% – a massive 2.2% drop from the 4.4% registered the year before.

Explains ECO online, five eurozone countries “obtained worse results, including Spain, France, and Italy, the largest economies of the region following Germany”.

But the good news, as always, is tempered by ‘not so good news’. When it comes to public debt, we’re still out there with the worst offenders, with 130.1% – better only than Greece and Italy, and ‘only just’ in the case of the latter, where public debt is running at 132%.

In other words, we’re only seen to be in third place of the worst results due to the horrendous difficulties suffered in Greece where public debt is just so high (180.8%) that no one really knows where it will end.

In plain speaking: Portugal’s public debt stands at €240.9 billion, a heartening drop on last August’s record of €250 billion (click here).

According to the proposed State Budget for 2018, the government is banking on the drop continuing (and even gathering speed) to reach 123.5% at the end of next year.

If this happens, Portugal’s GDP would reduce to 126.2%.

With focus on the budget also reduced this week due to the issue of forest fires, national media has nonetheless reported that budgetary watchdog UTAO considers that Brussels may not be totally convinced that finance minister Mario Centeno’s plans are achievable.

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