Deficit will stand below 1.3% in 2017, stated António Costa

  • ECO News
  • 21 December 2017

The Portuguese PM António Costa announced in the Government's meeting in Belém that this years' deficit will be 1.3%, below the 1.4% foreseen in the last downward revision.

The prime minister António Costa announced that the 2017 deficit will stand below 1.3%. In the Government’s meeting with the Portuguese President, head of State, with irony, that it could be announced, “without giving our Finance minister [Mário Centeno] the chills”, that the goal for the deficit will be even smaller than anticipated.

“This year, we will have the largest economic growth since the beginning of the century. Last year, we had the smallest deficit of our democracy and we will have, this year — I can now announce, without giving our Finance minister the chills –, we will have a deficit that will stand below 1.3%“, António Costa stated, during the President’s season’s greetings ceremony.

The Government began the year with a deficit forecast of 1.5%, a goal that was meanwhile revised to 1.4%. This week, António Costa had stated that public Finance was doing better than anticipated and that he expected the deficit to stand below 1.4%. However, the prime minister had an early Christmas present for the Portuguese: a deficit below 1.3% for this year.

The PM emphasized that “public debt is still high, but already below expectations“. Debt should “not surpass 126.2% of GDP and in a context of employment growth, with 240 thousand new job positions”, he stated, repeating what he had stated in Parliament and that corresponds to the number predicted in the 2018 State Budget for this year.

“The Portuguese people have understood the need to have a fiscal stability”, stated Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the Portuguese President. But the Portuguese people want more, “but they also want social stability”, which is done “in the exercise of fundamental social rights”, he added.

Without ever mentioning the name of the company, Marcelo also made some comments about the situation in Autoeuropa. “The Portuguese understand that there are some companies that, because of their power and importance in their area, because of the amount of employment they entail, and because of other companies cooperating with them for the international prestige and for the image left for foreign investors, it is important to have social peace and to do everything to achieve social peace, it is important not to take many chances”. Marcelo warned against the fact that the “climate the Portuguese people believe is good for the country”.

The President also made an assurance: the Executive will always benefit from a good relationship with the President. “The institutional solidarity went well, and so did the relationship between the President and the Government”, Marcelo stated. And “it could not have been any other way, because it is my reading of our Constitution”, he added. “And it will continue going well until my mandate comes to an end”, he assured.