World Economy

Portugal Closer to Derailment

Portugal Closer to DerailmentPortugal Closer to Derailment

Portugal's economy is coming closer to a catastrophic derailment which could trigger a eurozone meltdown, amid a toxic combination of rising bankruptcies, falling numbers of new businesses and high government debt, Social Europe reported. The number of companies going bust in the European nation has soared by 49.5% in the first eight months of the year, with 2,474 companies being declared insolvent—819 more than in the same period last year—according to data from the Ignios Business Center. Last month insolvent companies jumped by 9% from August last year—equivalent to 20 more companies in difficulties every day. The catalyst for the trouble appears to be a plunge in exports. Antonio Monteiro, chief executive of Ignios, said: "Exports, the main engine of economic growth in recent years, reveal a slowdown in recent figures released by the Institute of National Statistics. This will predictably have consequences for companies in the traditionally exporting districts, that until now have shown better numbers than the areas most dependent on domestic demand."