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Portugal: Economy#

Portugal has become a diversified and increasingly service-based economy since joining the European Community - the EU's predecessor - in 1986. Over the following two decades, successive governments privatized many state-controlled firms and liberalized key areas of the economy, including the financial and telecommunications sectors. The country joined the Economic and Monetary Union in 1999 and began circulating the euro on 1 January 2002 along with 11 other EU members.

The economy grew by more than the EU average for much of the 1990s, but the rate of growth slowed in 2001-08. The economy contracted in 2009, and fell again from 2011 to 2014, as the government implemented spending cuts and tax increases to comply with conditions of an EU-IMF financial rescue package, signed in May 2011. A modest recovery began in 2013 and gathered steam in 2014 due to strong export performance and a rebound in private consumption. Although austerity measures were instituted to reduce the large budget deficit, they contributed to record unemployment and a wave of emigration not seen since the 1960s.

A continued reduction in private- and public-sector debt could weigh on consumption and investment in 2016, holding back a stronger recovery. The prior center-right government passed legislation aimed at reducing labor market rigidity, and, this, along with sustained fiscal discipline, could make Portugal more attractive to foreign direct investment. Under the center-right government, the budget deficit fell from 11.2% of GDP in 2010 to 3.5% in 2015, reaching the EU-IMF target of 4%, but still above its EU fiscal obligations, under the excessive deficit procedure. EU-IMF financing expired in May 2014. The new center-left Socialist government, however, has signaled that it will unwind spending cuts associated with austerity while remaining within EU fiscal targets.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$297.1 billion (2016 est.)
$294.1 billion (2015 est.)
$289.9 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$205.9 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate1% (2016 est.)
1.5% (2015 est.)
0.9% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$28,500 (2016 est.)
$28,300 (2015 est.)
$27,900 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving15% of GDP (2016 est.)
15.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
15.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 66.3%
government consumption: 18.1%
investment in fixed capital: 14.7%
investment in inventories: -0.1%
exports of goods and services: 39.9%
imports of goods and services: -38.9% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 2.4%
industry: 21.9%
services: 75.9% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productsgrain, potatoes, tomatoes, olives, grapes; sheep, cattle, goats, pigs, poultry, dairy products; fish
Industriestextiles, clothing, footwear, wood and cork, paper and pulp, chemicals, lubricants, automobiles and auto parts, base metals, minerals, porcelain and ceramics, glassware, technology, telecommunications; dairy products, wine, other foodstuffs; ship construc
Industrial production growth rate0.9% (2016 est.)
Labor force5.167 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 8.6%
industry: 23.9%
services: 67.5% (2014 est.)
Unemployment rate11.3% (2016 est.)
12.4% (2015 est.)
Population below poverty line18.7% (2012 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 3.1%
highest 10%: 28.4% (1995 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index34.2 (2013 est.)
34.2 (2012 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $87.26 billion
expenditures: $92.25 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues42.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-2.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt126.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
129% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as i
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices)0.8% (2016 est.)
0.5% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate0.05% (31 December 2014)
0.25% (31 December 2013)
note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
Commercial bank prime lending rate4.1% (31 December 2016 est.)
4.49% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$87.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$72.29 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 18 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of
Stock of broad money$296.1 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$316.2 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$321.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$326.2 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$59.84 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$57.77 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$79.18 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Current account balance$46 million (2016 est.)
$838 million (2015 est.)
Exports$52.2 billion (2016 est.)
$54.33 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesagricultural products, foodstuffs, wine, oil products, chemical products, plastics and rubber, hides, leather, wood and cork, wood pulp and paper, textile materials, clothing, footwear, machinery and tools, base metals
Exports - partnersSpain 25%, France 12.1%, Germany 11.8%, UK 6.7%, US 5.2%, Angola 4.2%, Netherlands 4% (2015)
Imports$61.7 billion (2016 est.)
$64.49 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesagricultural products, chemical products, vehicles and other transport material, optical and precision instruments, computer accessories and parts, semiconductors and related devices, oil products, base metals, food products, textile materials
Imports - partnersSpain 32.9%, Germany 12.9%, France 7.4%, Italy 5.4%, Netherlands 5.1% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$19.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$19.62 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Debt - external$449 billion (31 March 2016 est.)
$447 billion (31 March 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$138.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$138.1 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$88.27 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$87.44 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange rateseuros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.9214 (2016 est.)
0.885 (2015 est.)
0.7525 (2014 est.)
0.7634 (2013 est.)
0.78 (2012 est.)