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Portugal Changing Structure of the Economy
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
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    The Portuguese economy had changed significantly by 1973, compared with its position in 1961. Total output (GDP at factor cost) grew by 120 percent in real terms. The industrial sector was three times greater, and the size of the services sector doubled; but agriculture, forestry, and fishing advanced by only 16 percent. Manufacturing, the major component of the secondary sector, was three times as large at the end of the period. Industrial expansion was concentrated in large-scale enterprises using modern technology.

    The composition of GDP also changed markedly from 1961 to 1973. The share of the primary sector (agriculture, forestry, and fishing) in GDP shrank from 23 percent in 1961 to 16.8 percent in 1973, and the contribution of the secondary (or industrial) sector (manufacturing, construction, mining, and electricity, gas and water) increased from 37 percent to 44 percent during the period. The services sector's share in GDP remained constant at 39.4 percent between 1961 and 1973. Within the industrial sector, the contribution of manufacturing advanced from 30 percent to 35 percent and that of construction from 4.6 percent to 6.4 percent.

    The progressive "opening" of Portugal to the world economy was reflected in the growing shares of exports and imports (both visible and invisible) in national output and income. Further, the composition of Portugal's balance of international payments altered substantially. From 1960 to 1973, the merchandise trade deficit widened, but owing to a growing surplus on invisibles--including tourist receipts and emigrant worker remittances--the deficit in the current account gave way to a surplus from 1965 onward. Beginning with that year, the long-term capital account typically registered a deficit, the counterpart of the current account surplus. Even though the nation attracted a rising level of capital from abroad (both direct investments and loans), official and private Portuguese investments in the "overseas territories" were greater still--hence the net outflow on the long-term capital account.

    The growth rate of Portuguese merchandise exports during the period 1959 to 1973 was 11 percent per annum. In 1960 the bulk of exports was accounted for by a few products--canned fish, raw and manufactured cork, cotton textiles, and wine. By contrast, in the early 1970s, Portugal's export list reflected significant product diversification, including both consumer and capital goods. Several branches of Portuguese industry became export-oriented, and in 1973 over one-fifth of Portuguese manufactured output was exported.

    The radical nationalization-expropriation measures in the mid-1970s were initially accompanied by a policy-induced redistribution of national income from property owners, entrepreneurs, and private managers and professionals to industrial and agricultural workers. This wage explosion favoring workers with a high propensity to consume had a dramatic impact on the nation's economic growth and pattern of expenditures. Private and public consumption combined rose from 81 percent of domestic expenditure in 1973 to nearly 102 percent in 1975. The counterpart of overconsumption in the face of declining national output was a contraction in both savings and fixed capital formation, depletion of stocks, and a huge balance-of-payments deficit. The rapid increase in production costs associated with the surge in unit labor costs between 1973 and 1975 contributed significantly to the decline in Portugal's ability to compete in foreign markets. Real exports fell between 1973 and 1976, and their share in total expenditures declined from nearly 26 percent to 16.5 percent.

    The economic dislocations of metropolitan Portugal associated with the income leveling and nationalization-expropriation measures were exacerbated by the sudden loss of the nation's African colonies in 1974 and 1975 and the reabsorption of overseas settlers (the so-called retornados), the global recession, and, as well, the international energy crisis.

    Over the longer period, 1973-90, the composition of Portugal's GDP at factor cost changed significantly. The contribution of agriculture, forestry, and fishing as a share of total production continued its inexorable decline, to 6.1 percent in 1990 from 12.2 percent in 1973. In contrast to the prerevolutionary period, 1961-73, when the industrial sector grew by 9 percent annually and its contribution to GDP expanded, industry's share narrowed to 38.4 percent of GDP in 1990 from 44 percent in 1973. Manufacturing, the major component of the industrial sector, contributed relatively less to GDP in 1990 (28 percent) than in 1973 (35 percent). Most striking was the 16- percentage-point increase in the participation of the services sector from 39 percent of GDP in 1973 to 55.5 percent in 1990. Most of this growth reflected the proliferation of civil service employment and the associated cost of public administration, together with the dynamic contribution of tourism services during the 1980s.

    Data as of January 1993

    NOTE: The information regarding Portugal on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Portugal Changing Structure of the Economy information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Portugal Changing Structure of the Economy should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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