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There is a feeling that the economic prospects for Portugal are at last showing some sign of recovery. This month (May 2014) the bailout organised by the international community and the IMF is nearing it’s end. The last review of the bailout was perhaps the first one with a slightly optimistic short term outlook.
The IMF though did stress that there should be no let up on the economic reforms, the growth of debt is still concerning and without these reforms could easily spiral out of control very quickly. Unemployment is probably the most worrying aspect of the recovery, it is obviously the one with the highest social cost. At over 15% it is still among the highest in Europe and like other countries the worse affected sector are the countries young people. However economic activity is improving all the time so it is hoped that this will filter through to the employment figures very shortly.
The reduction of GDP budget deficit is of course the core goal of the IMF bailout targets, Portugal has so far achieved or in some instances beaten it’s agreed levels. Although the official bailout is finished this month, there will be a continuation of some payments whilst the deficit is still being tackled.
Furthermore the country has the option to request a standby loan, mainly to support the substantial shortfall that is still in existence for the 2015 economic year. Access to the financial markets is still limited and until Portugal has full access to the credit markets then it is likely it still will need some financial assistance to stay in the Euro and maintain it’s austerity programme.
The full economic figures and economic indicators can be obtained from a variety of financial data sites. If you want background stories and information on the European economies then check out the financial pages of the BBC website, all data should be available but you may need to use a VPN to access some of the transmitted broadcasts – here’s a guide.
James Goldwing writes on several technology and economic websites and blogs.