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Portugal’s Unemployment Rate Rose to 14% in the Fourth Quarter

Portugal’s jobless rate rose to 14 percent in the three months through December as the country’s economy contracted for a fifth quarter.

The unemployment rate increased from 12.4 percent in the third quarter and 11.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, the Lisbon-based National Statistics Institute said today in an e-mailed statement. For 2011, the unemployment rate was 12.7 percent.

The government forecasts unemployment will reach 13.4 percent in 2012 before it starts to decline in 2013.

Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho is facing a recession as he cuts spending and increases taxes to meet the terms of a 78 billion-euro ($101 billion) aid plan from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. As the country’s borrowing costs surged, Portugal followed Greece and Ireland in April in seeking a bailout.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joao Lima in Lisbon at jlima1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tim Quinson at tquinson@bloomberg.net

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