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Lusa - Business News - East Timor: Veteran journalists call on new generation to work for development
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Lusa - Business News - Portugal: Q1 GDP figures 'show solid base' for future growth - finance ministry




Lisbon, May 15, 2019 (Lusa) – Portugal’s Ministry of Finance on Wednesday declared that the country’s economy has a "solid base" from which to grow, after official figures were released showing gross domestic product swelled 0.5% in the first quarter.
The year-on-year rate of GDP growth in the quarter was 1.8% - slower than the rate projected by the government for 2019 as a whole.
"The Portuguese economy today has a solid foundation to continue to grow and converge with Europe in the future, even in a context of greater difficulties arising from the deterioration of the external economic environment," reads a statement released on Wednesday by the office of the finance minister, Mário Centeno.
According to provisional data released by the National Statistics Institute (INE), in the first quarter GDP grew by 0.5%, following growth of 0.4% in the previous quarter, for a year-on-year rate of 1.8%, marking an acceleration from the 1.7% in the previous quarter.
According to the finance ministry, the accelerating growth "reflects a more pronounced increase in domestic demand and, particularly, investment, which more than offset the decrease in the contribution to growth from international trade ".
It noted that the acceleration of capital investment in the first quarter was the main driver of the acceleration in GDP growth.
"This increased growth is reflected in the increase in imports, which highlights the significant growth of import of investment goods, such as machinery and other capital goods, transport material and processed products intended for Industry," the statement says.
The slowdown in exports, it stresses, results above all, from increasing geopolitical uncertainty and global trade tensions, which has had a particular impact on Europe's largest economies.
"GDP growth continues to be based on employment growth and unemployment reduction, with more than 73,500 jobs being created by comparison with the first quarter of 2018, while the number of unemployed has declined by around 56,500 in the same period , corresponding to a reduction in the unemployment rate of 1.1 percentage points," it states.
GDP growth in the euro area and the European Union in the first quarter, in turn, has remained stable at 1.2% and 1.5% respectively, the statement notes, "which means that Portugal maintains a trajectory of convergence towards Europe, a trajectory that has already lasted for more than two years.
"The significant growth in investment over the past few years, the stabilisation of the financial sector, the rebalancing of external accounts and the progress achieved in the structural consolidation of public accounts constitute solid pillars for economic growth in the coming years," it concludes.
The definitive quarterly national accounts for the first quarter are due out on 31 May.
The government projects GDP to grow by 1.9% this year, against the 1.7% predicted by the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the Bank of Portugal, and also above the 1.6% foreseen by its own budget watchdog, the Public Finance Council.

ICO/ARO // ARO.
Lusa


Agency : LUSA

Date : 2019-05-16 10:24:17







 

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