Portugal posts sharp economic slowdown in Q3

Portugal posts sharp economic slowdown in Q3
# 15 November 2013 01:21 (UTC +04:00)

Portugal's National Statistics Institute said on Thursday in a preliminary report that the country’s total economic output grew a mere 0.2 percent in the July-to-September period.

This followed an expansion of 1.1 percent in the previous three months, which was the first quarter of growth after a two-and-a-half-year recession.

In addition, the office said when comparing on an annual basis, Portugal's gross domestic product (GDP) actually fell by 1.0 percent in the third quarter.

This comes at a time when the country has imposed a series of austerity reforms in an effort to lead the country out of its bailout program.

Last month, the Portuguese government presented its 2014 draft budget, revealing that it would impose more austerity measures next year.

Among the budget measures were an increase in the public sector workweek by five hours, slashes to retirement pensions by 10 percent as well as salary cuts up to 12 percent for those who earn more than 600 euros a month.

The new cuts are required by the troika of international lenders -- the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund -- which granted Portugal an emergency loan worth 78 billion euros (about USD 107 billion) after Portugal’s borrowing costs soared to unsustainable levels in 2011.

The government’s new austerity measures triggered fresh protests as well as strikes among public sector workers.

Despite the recent protests, the Portuguese government has shown no signs of changing its mind about the austerity measures, as it hopes to complete the bailout program by next June.

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