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IMF Offers Rosy View of Portugal

IMF Offers Rosy View  of PortugalIMF Offers Rosy View  of Portugal

The International Monetary Fund has given an upbeat assessment of Portugal’s economy, after years of dark warnings that brought a rebuke from the Portuguese government. AP reported. The IMF says in a report that “Portugal’s near-term outlook has strengthened considerably,” with investment ticking higher and exports continuing to grow. The report Friday said Lisbon has also made “commendable” progress in addressing financial risks stemming from its high government debt, though it notes that corporate debt remains high and that banks still hold substantial bad loans. “The strong 2016 fiscal outturn has allowed Portugal to exit the Excessive Deficit Procedure, while the 2017 fiscal deficit target also appears well within reach. There has also been notable progress over the past year to stabilize the banking system, although addressing banks’ large stock of non-performing loans and dealing with the substantial corporate debt overhang remain medium-term challenges.” Finance Minister Mario Centeno last month publicly chided the IMF over its unremittingly bleak outlooks for Portugal, saying he wished its officials would “spend more time improving the economic models they use instead of setting out reforms that are not based on correct data.”

 

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