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Portugal – Important Facts

Portugal is a country in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. The Atlantic archipelagos of Azores and Madeira are part of Portugal and occupy strategic locations along western routes to the Strait of Gibraltar. Portugal is bordered by Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. The geography is mountainous north of the Tagus River. The government system is a republic; the chief of state is the president, and the head of government is the prime minister. Portugal has a service-based mixed economy in which the government has privatized many state-controlled firms and liberalized areas of the economy. Portugal is a member of the European Union (EU).

The Portuguese Economy has been steady, expanding continuously since the third quarter of 2014, with a yearly GDP growth of 1.5% registered in the second quarter of 2015. The economy growth has been accompanied by a continuous fall in the unemployment rate (11.9% in the second quarter of 2015, compared with 13.9% registered in the end of 2014). The Government budget deficit has also been reduced from the 11.2% of GDP in 2010 to 4.8% in 2014. These rates mark an inversion from the negative trends caused by the impact of the Financial Crisis of 2008 in the Portuguese Economy, that made it to shrink for three consecutives years (2011, 2012 and 2013), accompanied by a high increase of the unemployment rate (that achieved a record of 17.7% in the early 2013). The crisis has caused a wide range of domestic problems that are specifically related to the levels of public deficit, as well as the excessive debt levels, in the economy, culminating in the confirmation from Portugal to a €78 billion financial bailout from the EU in April 2011, following similar decisions from Greece and Ireland. The government that assumed office in June 2011 had to face tough choices in regard to its attempts to stimulate the economy while at the same time seeking to maintain its public deficit around the EU average.

A continued reduction in private- and public-sector debt could weigh on consumption and investment in 2016, holding back a stronger recovery. The prior center-right government passed legislation aimed at reducing labor market rigidity, and, this, along with sustained fiscal discipline, could make Portugal more attractive to foreign direct investment. Under the center-right government, the budget deficit fell from 11.2% of GDP in 2010 to 3.5% in 2015, reaching the EU-IMF target of 4%, but still above its EU fiscal obligations, under the excessive deficit procedure. EU-IMF financing expired in May 2014. The new center-left Socialist government, however, has signaled that it will unwind spending cuts associated with austerity while remaining within EU fiscal targets.

Important Details

  • Country ISO3 : PRT
  • Country Code : 620
  • Income Group : High income
  • Lending Category : P2P
  • Region : Europe & Central Asia
  • Currency Unit: Euro
  • WTO Member : Yes
  • Trade organisations : EU, WTO and OECD
  • world rank : 64
  • Regional Ranking : 30th in Europe