Portugal’s Cabral Sees Signs of Improvement in Country’s Economy

  • Cabral says second, third quarters should show stronger growth
  • Minister says foreign investors taking a long-term perspective

Portuguese Economy Minister Manuel Caldeira Cabral said there may soon be an improvement in the pace of the country’s economic recovery as the government tries to attract investment and increase exports.

“The second and third quarters of this year should show a better performance of the economy so we are hoping that along the year growth prospects improve,” Cabral said in a telephone interview late on Tuesday from Mexico, where he’s taking part in events seeking to attract foreign investment. “I think most investors that we talked to were not concerned with that. They’re looking at Portugal with a long-run perspective.”

Manuel Caldeira Cabral

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

The minister’s comments come after the Portuguese central bank on June 8 cut its growth forecasts to 1.3 percent this year and 1.6 percent in 2017 from 1.5 percent and 1.7 percent respectively. It also predicted investment will climb just 0.1 percent this year compared to a previous forecast for a 0.7 percent increase.

The government is more optimistic about the economic prospects, predicting growth of 1.8 percent this year and next. Prime Minister Antonio Costa was sworn in at the end of November and his minority Socialist government is reversing state salary cuts faster than the previous administration proposed, while increasing indirect taxes.

“We’re working to achieve those targets but of course that will always depend on global growth,” said Cabral. He declined to say whether the government plans to revise its growth targets.

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