Budget deficit in 2018 ‘close to 0.6%’, debt 121%

  • Lusa
  • 6 February 2019

Mário Centeno, Portugal's finance minister, announced this Wednesday at the parliament that the public sector budget deficit reached 0.6% of GDP, in 2018.

Portugal’s finance minister, Mário Centeno, said in parliament on Wednesday that the 2018 public sector budget deficit was close to 0.6% of gross domestic product (GDP), a downgrade of the last official estimate.

“We should end 2018 with a value close to 0.6%,” Centeno said in his initial address to parliament’s budget and finance committee. “Year after year we are presenting the lowest deficit amounts of the democratic period.”

The government had written into the 2018 budget a deficit target of 0.7% of GDP, but Centeno said on 21 December, in an interview with Lusa, that this might be revised downward, after the National Statistics Institute (INE) announced a surplus of 0.7% of GDP in the third quarter.

In 2017, the budget deficit was 3% of GDP, including the capital injection into state bank Caixa Geral de Depósitos. Without that operation, it would have been 0.9%.

On public indebtedness, Centeno said that it amounted to 121.4% of GDP at the end of the year.