Lisbon, Portugal, 09 May – The European Commission Monday increased its forecast for Portuguese GDP growth for this year by 0.1 percentage points to 0.9 percent, a figure which remains below the government forecast of 1.1 percent.
The growth rate estimated by Brussels triples the growth rate from last year and is slightly more optimistic than the latest projections from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Bank of Portugal, which both pointed to growth of 0.8 percent.
In its economic forecasts for Spring, the Commission also expects that the growth rate of the Portuguese economy will increase in 2007 to 1.1 percent, a figure which is lower than that forecast in the commission’s Autumn figures, issued on November 17, 2005.
Both the growth figure for 2006 and 2007 are lower than both the Euro Zone and the European Union average, with Euro countries expanding by an average 2.1 percent this year and 1.8 percent next year, while EU average growth is expected to stand at 2.3 percent in 2006 and 2.2 percent in 2007.
Portugal will have the lowest growth rate in Europe this year and, next year only Germany’s economy is forecast to grow at a lower rate than Portugal’s. (macauhub)