EU official expects Portugal’s economy to grow above 2.5 pct this year

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European Commissioner for Economic Affairs Pierre Moscovici said here Tuesday that Portugal’s economic progress is very impressive and the growth will be above 2.5 percent this year.

Speaking at a press conference, Moscovici said that since his visit to the country in February last year, the “economic progress of Portugal is very impressive”, adding that Portugal’s deficit is expected to be 1.8 percent and the economic growth will be 2.5 percent this year.

In the spring forecasts, the European Commission upgraded its growth forecast for Portugal to 1.8 percent this year and the forecast its budget deficit to be 1.8 percent of GDP as well.

Moscovici said that Portugal’s priority must be “to turn this recovery into a lasting growth”, which he considered to be possible, due to the increase in exports and boom in tourism.

He also said that Portugal should continue its efforts to further reduce its deficit.
Moscovici met with Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa during his one-day visit to Portugal on Tuesday.

Portugal received a 78 billion euro bailout in 2011 when it was on the verge of bankruptcy. The country exited the bailout after three years of harsh austerity.

The EU decided to formalize the end of Portugal’s excessive deficit procedure in May this year. The country had been under the excessive deficit procedure since 2009, when its budget deficit was at around 10 percent of GDP.

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