LISBON, March 26 (Xinhua) — Portugal’s government deficit increased to 5.7 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020, reflecting a strong retraction of economic activity due to the impact of COVID-19, Statistics Portugal (INE) said Friday.
Even so, the figure was below the previous forecast made by the Portuguese government, which had projected a 7.3 percent deficit due to the increase in expenses to support companies and families during the pandemic and the economic crisis.
In 2019, Portugal recorded a fiscal balance surplus at 0.1 percent of GDP. Public debt to GDP ratio went from 116.8 percent in 2019 to 133.6 percent in 2020.
The Portuguese Ministry of Finance said in a press release that the results came out better than expected because there was “evolution of revenue, which was 2.5 percent above the forecast.”
“This evolution results from the positive behavior of the labor market, which has shown more resilience than would be expected,” said the ministry.
According to the government, “the expenses related to combating the pandemic, both in health and in support of the economy” exceeded the estimate and stood at 3 billion euros (3.53 billion U.S. dollars). (1 euro = 1.18 U.S. dollars) Enditem