Portugal’s economy is expected to return to growth in 2014, with the government projecting a growth rate of 0.8 percent after three years of recession, according to the 2014 State Budget proposal made public Tuesday in Lisbon.
In 2011 the Portuguese economy contracted by 1.3 percent, the following year the recession deepened to 3.2 percent and this year gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract by 1.8 percent.
The State Budget proposal, which was delivered to the Portuguese parliament Tuesday, includes an inflation forecast of 1 percent and expects all components of GDP to post growth, with the exception of public spending (-2.8 percent).
After successive years of recession, consumer spending is expected to see marginal growth of 0.1 percent (after falling by 2.5 percent this year) and investment is expected to rise by 1.2 percent, after falling 8.5 percent this year.
The rate of unemployment will continue to increase but at a slower rate than previously, rising from 17.4 percent at the end of 2013 to 17.7 percent in 2014.
The year that will mark the end of the financial aid programme and Portugal’s return to fully financing itself on the market will also coincide with a rise in the external balance which, after decades of deficits, is expected to post a surplus of 3.5 percent of GDP. (macauhub)