World Economy

Portugal Economy Outgrows Eurozone

Portugal Economy Outgrows EurozonePortugal Economy Outgrows Eurozone

Portugal is the country that enjoyed the best economic performance between July and September in the eurozone, latest official figures have shown. According to Portugal Statistics, the country’s gross domestic product expanded by 0.8% in relation to the previous quarter, while year-on-year growth was even more impressive at 1.6%.

Portugal’s performance from the second to the third quarter of 0.8% was the highest in the eurozone, which overall managed an average rate of only 0.3%, The Political reported.

The acceleration of the economy confounded experts, who had forecast substantially lower growth and had even issued warnings of potential troublesome times ahead.

But speaking after the latest economic figures were released, Finance Minister Mario Centeno noted that 127,000 jobs had been created since the beginning of the year. He also recalled that this was in stark contrast to 12 months ago, when 75,000 jobs were lost in the second half of 2015.

He added that job growth was apparent across all sectors, but said a spike in tourism numbers between July and September had helped to boost the latest economic figures.

Continued growth in tourism numbers anticipated for this autumn and next spring are expected to drive continued growth in the coming months.

 Effective Action

This news comes after the European Commission decided not to present any proposal to suspend funds to Portugal.

The decision was made when the EC concluded that because of “effective action” by the Portuguese authorities, the excessive deficit procedure should be suspended.

It was further reported that the European Commission had argued it would not suspend EU funds for Spain and Portugal in 2017 following their breach of EU budget rules, as it also called for looser fiscal policy across the eurozone.

The EC argued that default risks identified earlier would “not materialize” and praised Portugal’s latest economic data.

Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Costa, as expected, reacted positively to the latest economic indicators and the EC’s decision to not take any action against the country.

“We can only be optimistic in relation to 2017 due to what this presents in terms of confidence in the finances of the country”, the Prime Minister said this week.

“Families can now start looking towards their day-to-day with greater tranquility, without having to worry about cuts or increases in taxes.

“Portuguese companies can meanwhile look at conditions to obtain financing with greater confidence while the country can do the same in its dealings with European institutions”, Antonio Costa added.

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