Unemployment at significant low. Public debt at significant high.

The swings and roundabouts of political reality continue today with stories affirming unemployment at a new significant low, but public debt at the polar opposite end of the scale.

The good news has to be that double-digit unemployment remains a phantom of the past.

Portugal’s figure of 9.1% is now below the EU average for the first time in 11 years.

But public debt at an all-time high means it’s still not time to throw hats in the air.

Says negociosonline, the country has broken through the symbolic debt barrier of €250 billion, but stresses that it’s “not all bad news”.

The €1.3 billion increase owes itself to the State opting to “take advantage of low financing costs” to increase its “financial pillow” – now standing at €3 billion.

The story is being presented as the State basically being clever: money-ing up at a moment when it can purchase cheaper debt, exchanging it for debt of the more expensive kind.

In creditors’ minds the picture is actually positive: public debt (if the financial pillow is not factored in) has reduced since August by €1.7 billion, with the total for Portugal coming in at €228.4 billion – well below the so-called ‘symbolic €250 billion barrier’.

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