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Lusa - Business News - Portugal: EC keeps country under vigilance for macroeconomic imbalances




Brussels, Nov. 24, 2021 (Lusa) - The European Commission on Wednesday kept Portugal in an enlarged group of member states for which it considers warrant an in-depth review of macroeconomic imbalances, underlining that the Covid-19 crisis has aggravated previously identified vulnerabilities.
By adopting the second part of the "autumn package" of the European semester of economic and budgetary policy coordination, after the release of the economic forecasts a fortnight ago, the EU executive has started a new cycle of macroeconomic imbalances analysis and has identified 12 countries that it considers warrant "in-depth analysis", and Portugal rejoins this group, as in previous exercises, mainly due to high debt levels, which increased in the pandemic.
The 12 member states which Brussels considers in-depth reviews are needed over the coming months to determine the severity of macroeconomic imbalances - whose conclusions will be published in spring 2022 - are precisely the same as last year, namely Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Romania and Sweden.
Regarding Portugal, the European Commission noted that the country entered the Covid-19 crisis with "vulnerabilities linked to high private and public external debt and low productivity growth" and, with the crisis caused by the pandemic, "debt ratios have increased further."
Brussels noted that in the updated scoreboard, including data up to 2020, "several indicators are above their indicative thresholds, namely the international investment position (IIP), private and public debt, house price growth, unit labour cost growth and the activity rate.
It noted, however, that "despite the country's large exposure to cross-border tourism, the ratio of IIP to GDP [Gross Domestic Product] has recovered to pre-pandemic levels as of mid-2021" and is "expected to improve gradually over the forecast period".
On the other hand, "after years of moderate growth, nominal unit labour costs rose sharply in 2020 and passed above the indicative threshold, but are expected to decline somewhat in the future".
This year's "autumn package" is unusual because the Portuguese parliament rejected the draft 2022 budget, which led to the dissolution of parliament and snap legislative elections for 30 January next.
The European Commission decided to exclude Portugal from its opinions on budgetary plans, waiting for the next government to present a draft budget, which it said may only happen next March.
ACC/ADB // ADB.
Lusa



Agency : LUSA

Date : 2021-11-25 09:44:28







 

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