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Portuguese exports falter in fight for growth: official data

Published on 09/10/2013

Portuguese exports, on which recovery of the rescued economy largely depends, were flat in August on a 12-month comparison, official data showed on Wednesday.

This flat export performance comes just as the economy overall is recovering, emerging from recession in the second quarter of the year.

But imports by also fell, with the result that the trade balance showed a sharply reduced deficit of 922 million euros ($1.24 billion).

Exports amounted to 3.33 billion euros, and imports fell by 3.5 percent to 4.25 billion euros.

Exports to the rest of the European Union rose firmly, by 3.7 percent, but exports to the rest of the world fell by 6.8 percent, holding the overall export performance back.

In July, Portugal achieved a record export performance, with an increase of 7.3 percent from the level 12 months earlier.

Portugal is still struggling hard to overcome a deep crisis which forced it into a bailout programme with the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

As part of the bailout Portugal’s government has had to impose draconian cuts in public spending, tax rises and restructure the economy.

In common with other eurozone countries which got into deep difficulties, Portugal is relying largely on a strong export performance to help pull it out of trouble and restore living standards.