President Marcelo
President Marcelo: Image: José Coelho/ Lusa

Portuguese economy “still a long way from taking off” – president

Marcelo speaks in Moldova as INE releases latest flash estimate

President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, is on the last leg of his official visit to Moldova today – but unlike the prime minister, who refuses to be drawn on national issues when out of the country – he did not hold back when questioned about the drop in overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth this year.

He said that the 0.2% fall in shows that Portugal’s economy “is still a long way from taking off”.

With PS Socialists insisting the 2024 State Budget is a solid document that will cushion the country from adverse events it cannot control, the country’s head of State alluded to the country’s continued vulnerability.

“It’s right to say that the world economy isn’t growing as much as expected and this has repercussions on our exports, on growth in Portugal”, he told reporters. “We’ve gained compared to the previous year, when there was a bigger drop in this period, but it means that we’re still a long way from seeing the Portuguese economy take off.” 

There has been some ‘good news’ though: “Inflation is improving and will probably improve at various speeds in various countries, in Portugal it’s improving, that’s a good sign,” Marcelo considered.

According to the latest flash estimate released by statistics entity INE, GDP in Portugal grew by 1.9% in the third quarter compared to the same period last year but fell by 0.2% year-on-year.

In Lisbon, where the government is into its second day of ‘general debate on the State Budget for 2024’, finance minister Fernando Medina has said the finding illustrates the importance of stimulating internal demand “at a time of external challenges”.

Whether this can be achieved on the basis of the country’s high level of direct and indirect taxation is what divides current political thinking. ND