Monday, February 6, 2017

Gurría warns Centeno: Progress is “impressive” but still “there is much homework to be done” – Jornal de Negócios – Portugal

The secretary-general of the OECD praised this Monday, February 6, the “impressive progress” made by Portugal in the area of growth, the conversion of the economy from an export base and reduction of unemployment, which he said are a result of structural reforms initiated during the intervention of the troika and of the context of low interest rates and low price of the oil that has been in force, and he also praised the “done great” control of the budgetary deficit, that attributed to the leadership of the current prime-minister and the minister of Finance.

In the presentation of the latest economic survey on Portugal, at the headquarters of the Ministry of Finance, in Lisbon, Angel Gurría underlined, however, the need to draw attention to the fact that “there are many outstanding issues” in the country and of the external context to be particularly uncertain, which raises the level of risk for most economies. “There is still a lot of work home to do,” said Gurría Mário Centeno, citing the high debt-making in the public and private sector, the fragility of the banking system and the still low level of competitiveness, partly due to low qualifications.

“further reforms Are needed to boost growth, productivity and well-being”. “The reform process must be continuous. Portugal has to row more strongly against the tide,” he added, to alert you, again, for the deterioration of the international environment.

On the public finances, Gurría stated that “the outlook is encouraging”, said that it “made great” the rise of the budget balance the primary (interest-free debt), completing be very important to keep these results have now in an external context the most adverse, and in the face of the delicate situation in banking – OECD report admits that more taxpayers ‘ money may have to be injected in the sector.

Already the minister of Finance focused its presentation on positive data, particularly on the front of the budget, highlighting the shortfall in 2016 that will have been “clearly below 2.3%”, as well as the primary balance is “above 2%” of GDP, which translate into “the best fiscal performance since 1974″.

“All the international institutions have failed in their predictions,” not “understand the essence of economic policy of the government,” charged Mário Centeno, to complain that they have not been treated with the exemption. “International institutions compete to do the analysis of our policies based on scientific knowledge accumulated and in the proper use of the information available. This was not always the case over the past year,” pointed out.

On what would be the value of the deficit without the extraordinary measures enacted by the government (the “tax relief” will have yielded about 550 million euros), the minister said that this is a sterile argument.

Continuing on a log challenge, Centeno played also for the forecast of the OECD for the unemployment. “The tone of the threshold of the two-digit,” she said. The organization based in Paris, forecasts that unemployment persists above 10% in the next two years.

In the context of the analysis that makes its member States every two years, the OECD publishes today a report on the Portuguese economy. Here you can access the report and in the bottom of the presentation with the main conclusions.


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