The 2.06% budget deficit in 2016 “shows there was an alternative policy” to austerity “that produces better results”, said the Prime Minister António Costa in Rome, where he is participating in the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties that created what is now the European Union.
“This result shows it’s possible to combine budgetary rigour with the creation of more than 118 thousand jobs, raising the families incomes and creating better conditions to private investment”, he said.
The Prime Minister also said that “with the official numbers that confirmed we are clearly below the line set by the European Union [2.5%] and considering the budgetary forecasts for 2017 and the following years, it’s just to expect that we will leave soon the excessive deficit procedure”
End of the excessive deficit procedure
The Minister of Finance said that “the end of the excessive deficit procedure will enforce the national and international confidence in our economy, as well as our capacity to invest in structural reforms that will increase our competitiveness”.
Mário Centeno made these statements at the press conference on the disclosure of the 2016 deficit in national accounts by the National Institute of Statistics.
"We know today that the deficit for 2016 was 2.06%", which is "the lowest in our recent democratic history of 42 years”, he added.
The Minister recalled that "a little more than a year ago, in the preparation of the State Budget for 2016, we estimated that the deficit would be 2.2%".
“The Portuguese economy is growing more than 2%. The employment is growing more than 3%. The wages are growing – the values declared to social security raised 5% in 2016”, the Minister added.
And “all this happened gaining competitiveness. In 2016 the exports were the highest ever, and growing more than the imports. The Portuguese companies gained market share in a year with crises in several external markets”, the Minister said.