In their update of the Stability Programme, the government reviewed the country's economic performance, expecting less economic growth and a higher unemployment rate, at 6.6%, for 2019.
Less economic growth, the deficit stays the same, and there will be more unemployment. These are the estimates of the Portuguese government for the country’s economic performance in 2019, announced on their Stability Programme’s update, which has to be sent to Brussels later this month.
ECO found in advance that the government was on its way to update the unemployment rate from 6.3% to 6.6%. However, unemployment is expected to drop in comparison to last year’s values.
When the State Budget was delivered, last October, the ministry of finance had announced an estimate for GDP growth at 2.2%, an unemployment rate at 6.3% and established its budget deficit target at 0.2% of GDP.
Since October, however, many of the institutions following up on the Portuguese economic performance have cut down on the estimates for 2019, as the country might be affected by external situations such as the overall situation in the EU, of rising uncertainty over Brexit, commercial tension between US-China, and high debt burden on several countries in the world.
ECO announced that the government expects economic growth in 2019 to reach 1.9%, down from the previous estimate of 2.2%. Accompanying that, unemployment is expected to grow to 6.6%.
This was the first time this administration has corrected its unemployment estimates to a higher rate since taking office.
Nonetheless, the minister of finance has maintained his optimism regarding the job market, noting that he expects the unemployment rate to continue going down until it hits an average close to 5.5%, as Mário Centeno told Público, in an interview.