Portugal FinMin Recovery will Take Decades

Portugal’s Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar has said the country’s bailout lenders have agreed to ease its debt-reduction targets amid deteriorating economic prospects.

Gaspar also warned that fully restoring the country’s financial health will take decades and the efforts of a generation. The Minister had a grim assessment of Portugal’s record under the bailout program. He reported that the Portuguese economy contracted 3.2 percent last year and is forecast to shrink another 2.3 percent in 2013, marking its 3rd straight year of recession. He said the unemployment rate, currently at a record 17.2 percent, is expected to climb to 18.5 percent by 2014.

The steep downturn has brought calls from business leaders, trade unions and opposition parties for the government to shift its efforts away from spending cuts and toward encouraging growth. But Gaspar insisted Portugal is on the right path and will stick with austerity.

via Xinhua

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza