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Portugal’s public debt leaps 8.6 billion euros

Anyone heartened by last week’s news that the public deficit has fallen €971.2 million compared to the figure for the same period last year, may be shocked to hear that overall, public debt has leapt 8.6 billion euros in the last six months. In fact, between May and June this year, the Bank of Portugal reports public debt increased by €2.4 billion, bringing totals to €240 billion.

Today, national tabloid Correio da Manhã, puts the dizzying numbers into ‘bite-sized chunks’: “public debt increased two million euros per hour” between January and June, it explains in its economy section, stressing that this tendency is very likely to continue and the “economy minister is not worried”.

Caldeira Cabral stresses that what is important is that public debt grows less than the economy” and that public accounts show “restraint”.

He told journalists on Monday: “This is a development that comes within a pattern. It is an increase of 3% which is in line with nominal growth, and that is what we are seeing. It signifies a stabilising of the debt ratio”.

Meantime, Lisbon’s ISEG, the institute of economy and management, has forecast that the Portuguese economy will be seen to have grown by 1.2% in the second three-month period of 2016 – a 0.6% increase on figures for the first three months, adds CM.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com