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Portuguese premier forecasts strong growth again

Portuguese premier forecasts strong growth again

LISBON: The Portuguese Prime Minister has once again forecast that Portugal will record the biggest economic growth this century after the publication of latest economic figures.

António Costa said last night that latest quarterly growth figures will see 2017 being the best year for the country since it joined the euro at the turn of the century. These latest numbers also place Portugal as one of the fastest growing EU states.

This comes after the Portuguese economy once again posted growth of 2.8 percent in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year, and compared to the previous quarter, grew by 0.2 percent, according to figures issued on Monday by the National Statistics Institute (INE).

According to the estimate of the quarterly national accounts for April to June, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 2.8 percent in volume, a similar rate to the one recorded in the previous quarter.

For the second consecutive year, the Portuguese economy has maintained the most positive quarterly performance in the last 10 years, which is the same as the growth registered in the last quarter of 2007, when the Portuguese economy also grew by 2.8 percent.

António Costa had last week already spoken in anticipation of excellent economic figures.

“This is certainly going to be the year that records the biggest economic growth since the beginning of the century”, the prime minister had said.

He continued by explaining that “all Portuguese are today paying less tax”. Costa added that contrary to what government critics have been predicting, “the disposable income of Portuguese families has improved by ten percent.”

António Costa also reminded supporters that Portuguese have seen health costs shrink, with their expenditure down by

“62 million euros over the past two years” while adding that the national health system has been reinforced with six thousand workers.

The Prime Minister’s comments followed news that the unemployment rate had dropped to under 9 percent for the first time since 2009, and that job creation had climbed to a 19-year high.