Portugal’s economy is estimated to have grown by 2.7% last year, the country’s strongest rate of annual expansion since 2000, according to a flash estimate by Statistics Portugal.
The national statistics office estimates that gross domestic product (GDP) improved from 1.5% in 2016 driven mainly by domestic demand, especially investment, while the contribution of net external demand was unchanged.
The figures are in line with projections by the Portuguese government, which revised its growth forecasts upwards in its 2018 budget proposals to 2.6% in 2017 and 2.2% this year.
Portugal’s economic revival began in 2014, when the country exited a demanding three-year economic adjustment programme overseen by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The economy has since recorded growth for 17 consecutive quarters.
Statistics Portugal said that GDP increased 2.4% in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared with the same period in 2016 and was up 0.7 per cent on Q3.
The economic recovery has enabled Portugal to sharply reduce its budget deficit and exit the EU’s excessive deficit procedure last year. The government expects to have cut the fiscal gap to around 1.2% of GDP last year – the lowest since the country’s return to democracy in 1974 – and aims to trim it to 1.1% this year.