Good news this week is that nationally wages are up for salaried workers by 4.5% since the departure of the troika and, despite the fact that the economy is growing at half the rate forecast by the Socialist government, the finance ministry has pledged that this year’s deficit target of 2.5% is still doable.
Jornal de Notícias explained on Tuesday that forecasts for growth had reduced to 1.8% last time the European Commission tackled Portugal on the subject.
National statistics office INE has since published data that suggests even this will be hard to achieve – setting its sights more on a figure of 0.8%.
Even so, JN stresses, the finance ministry has only admitted that growth is “taking its time”. It remains confident that the 2.5% deficit target this year will be maintained, says the paper.
Meantime, Diário de Notícias publishes the news that, overall, salaries for employees have risen by 4.55% (equivalent to €36) since the troika’s men in suits stopped ruling Portugal’s accounts.
Economist João Cerejeira has told the paper that the increases come as a result of the decision to boost the national minimum wage (a move welcomed neither by Brussels or the country’s business leaders) and salary reviews for contracted labour.
Another important factor is that since the troika left, the country’s employment situation has improved, he added.
The current average national wage is €838, explains DN, while the national minimum wage is now pegged at €530.