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Public finance watchdog sees 2017 budget deficit below 1.4% of GDP

Public finance watchdog sees 2017 budget deficit below 1.4% of GDP

LISBON: Portugal’s Public Finance Council (CFP) said on Monday that it estimates the public sector budget deficit for 2017 to have been less than 1.4% of gross domestic product, thanks to a larger increase in tax revenue and less expenditure on interest, so bringing the watchdog into line with the government’s own projections. In its report ‘Budget development to the end of the third quarter of 2017’, released on Monday, the CFP examines the budget outturn from the first nine months as already released by the National Statistics Institute (INE) and information already known about the fourth quarter. On that basis, it states, it anticipates “a deficit of less than 1.4% of GDP for the whole of 2017. The government has already said that the 2017 deficit is set to be smaller than the 1.4% pencilled into the 2018 state budget – already a reduction from the 1.5% originally foreseen. The prime minister, António Costa, said last week that he expects the 2017 deficit to turn out to be around 1.2% of GDP.