(Xinhua) IMF trims Portugal’s economic growth rate to 2.3 pct this year

(Xinhua) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) trimmed on Tuesday the Portuguese Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth to 2.3 percent for this year and 1.8 percent for 2019, much lower than that of government’s forecast of 2.3 percent.

According to the World Economic Outlook (WEO) report released on Tuesday, the IMF revised down the Portuguese GDP growth this year from 2.4 percent forecast in April to 2.3 percent.

The forecast for 2018 is in line with that estimated by the government in the Stability Program 2018-2022 presented in April.

For the next year, the IMF remains less optimistic than the government, keeping the GDP growth estimate at 1.8 percent and predicting an early slowdown.

In the report, the IMF predicts that the unemployment rate in Portugal will stay at 7 percent this year and fall to 6.7 percent next year, both lower than government’s forecasts of 7.6 percent and 7.2 percent respectively.

Portugal’s unemployment has been falling steadily in recent years after peaking at more than 17 percent in 2013, when the country suffered severe economic crisis and implemented harsh austerity under the 78 billion-euro bailout program with the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.

The Portuguese economy has been growing steadily in recent years after the country exited in May 2014 the bailout program following three years of harsh austerity.