Portugal’s economy minister highlights GDP growth

  • Lusa
  • 30 October 2020

Pedro Siza Vieira said on Friday that the recovery of 13.2% of GDP in the third quarter was above the average of the euro area.

Portugal’s minister of economy, Pedro Siza Vieira, said on Friday that the recovery of 13.2% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the third quarter compared to the second was above the average of the euro area, indicating convergence with the European bloc.

Pedro Siza Vieira was reacting to the GDP figures for the third quarter, when the Portuguese economy fell 5.8% compared to the same period last year, but recovered 13.2% compared to the second quarter of this year.

“This means that the economic trajectory was consistent with the government’s projections, in the sense that after a very abrupt and violent contraction in the second quarter, we saw a very rapid and strong recovery in the third quarter,” he said.

The government is forecasting an 8.5% recession this year, according to macroeconomic projections associated with the proposed State Budget for 2021.

However, the minister acknowledged that the news regarding the current health situation “is not good,” which could “have some impact on the economy in the last quarter of this year.”

“What we can feel is that if we have to make some contractions, if we have some of our main export markets, like Germany, France or Spain, in situations of further restrictions of social activity, this will not have a positive impact,” he continued.

“That’s why we have to be more ambitious in the support we are going to give, in employment and to companies, to allow us to overcome, once again, this path,” reinforced Pedro Siza Vieira.

The minister added that “the most important thing is to control the pace of contagion,” and “the greatest contribution that each citizen can make to improving the economic and employment situation is to be extremely responsible and cautious in the way they behave.”

Vieira also pointed out that the budget for 2021 is designed to “help manage various possibilities of behaviour in the economy and the pandemic”, so “it is important” to have a “positive outcome.”