Portuguese inflation rises to 4%
Consumer prices in Portugal rose to 4.0 percent annually in March, after a slight dip to 3.5 percent the previous month, the national statistics office said Tuesday.
Increased oil prices helped drive the overall index upwards as “energy products rose year-on-year by 13.3 percent,” the Ine office said in its regular statement.
Under the eurozone’s Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices, an important indicator of price stability and inflation, Portuguese consumer prices rose by 3.9 percent over the same 12-month period, compared to 2.6 percent rise for the 17-nation eurozone as a whole.
Meanwhile EU and IMF experts were on Tuesday sifting through debt-stricken Portugal’s public finances to work out the details of an 80-billion-euro ($115 billion) bailout package aimed at saving the country from default.
The European Union and the IMF have offered to help Portugal but warned on Friday that in return Lisbon would have to implement more public spending cuts, tax rises and far-reaching privatisation.
Socialist Prime Minister Jose Socrates was forced to seek a bailout after parliament last month rejected the latest austerity measures proposed by his minority government, prompting his resignation.