Portugal’s GDP Expands for a Fourth Quarter on Internal Demand

Portugal’s gross domestic product expanded for a fourth quarter in the three months through March, helped by internal demand.

GDP rose 0.4 percent from the fourth quarter, when it also expanded a revised 0.4 percent, the Lisbon-based National Statistics Institute said on its website today. Economists predicted a rise of 0.5 percent, the median of 10 estimates in a Bloomberg survey showed. GDP rose 1.4 percent from a year earlier, a sixth increase.

While Portugal emerged from recession during 2013, Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho still has to cut spending to meet budget targets and the government forecasts exports and investment will help drive growth this year. Portugal in May 2014 exited a three-year bailout program from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, and Coelho faces elections in September or October.

The government on April 16 raised its growth forecast for 2015 and said it sees the economy accelerating in the following two years. GDP is projected to expand 1.6 percent this year, more than a previous estimate for 1.5 percent growth. The economy grew 0.9 percent in 2014, after contracting in the previous three years.

The statistics institute on May 6 said Portugal’s unemployment rate climbed to 13.7 percent in the three months through March, a second quarterly increase.

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