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Portugal expects to beat public deficit target

Portugal’s public sector deficit will likely come in below the target of 5.9 percent of gross domestic output set as part of its bailout programme with the IMF and EU, an official said Friday.

“The deficit will be brought below 5.9 percent of GDP,” public administration junior minister Helder Rosalino told journalists after a government meeting.

The improvement will be achieved by a transfer of pension funds held by banks to the national pensions system.

“This operation will allow meeting the (deficit reduction) target for this year and even a bit more,” he added.

The third eurozone country to seek a bailout following Greece and Ireland, Portugal agreed a 78-billion-euro ($105-billion) rescue programme with the IMF and EU in May in exchange for promises to slash its public sector deficit which hit 9.8 percent of GDP in 2010.