Portugal’s budget deficit for 2009 revised upwards to 9.4 pct of GDP

30 March 2010

Lisbon, Portugal, 30 March – Portugal’s budget deficit in 2009 has been revised upwards from 9.3 percent to 9.4 percent in the first notification of the year as part of the procedure for excessive deficits for Eurostat, the National Statistics Institute (INE) said Monday in Lisbon.

The projections included in the INE report also pointed to gross public debt rising from US$110.376 billion euros (66.3 percent of GDP) in 2008 to 125.909 billion euros in 2009 (76.8 percent), with figures for 2009 still provisional.

As compared to the previous notification, in September 2009, INE said that the budget deficit for 2008 had also been revised from 2.6 percent to 2.8 percent of GDP.

The European Commission opened up an “excessive deficit” process against Portugal, which is situation faced by over half of European Union member states, which have seen their public accounts heavily affected by the crisis.

Brussels made a number of recommendations, placing Lisbon under “budgetary observation” and moved ahead with a schedule to get out of the unbalanced budgetary deficit of over 3 percent of GDP (excessive deficit), according to the rules set out in the EU Stability and Growth Pact.

The period given to Portugal to correct its “excessive deficit” was four years, that is until 2013. (macauhub)