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Portugal Economy

    Economy—overview: Portugal, in 1998, continued to see strong economic growth, falling interest rates, and low unemployment. The country qualified for the European Monetary Union (EMU) in 1998 and joined with 10 other European countries in launching the euro on 1 January 1999. Portugal's inflation rate for 1998, 2.8%, was low but higher than most of its European partners. The country continues to run a trade deficit and a balance of payments deficit. The government is working to modernize capital plant and increase the country's competitiveness in the increasingly integrated world markets. Growth is expected to slow to 3% in 1999 because of a slowdown in public investment and sluggish demand for exports.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$144.8 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 4.2% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$14,600 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 4%
    industry: 36%
    services: 60% (1998 est.)

    Population below poverty line: NA%

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.8% (1998 est.)

    Labor force: 4.75 million (1998 est.)

    Labor force—by occupation: services 56%, manufacturing 22%, agriculture, forestry, fisheries 12%, construction 9%, mining 1% (1998 est.)

    Unemployment rate: 5% (August 1998)

    Budget:
    revenues: $48 billion
    expenditures: $52 billion, including capital expenditures of $7.4 billion (1996 est.)

    Industries: textiles and footwear; wood pulp, paper, and cork; metalworking; oil refining; chemicals; fish canning; wine; tourism

    Industrial production growth rate: 4.1% (1998 est.)

    Electricity—production: 32.839 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 55%
    hydro: 45%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1998 est.)

    Electricity—consumption: 31.92 billion kWh (1997)

    Electricity—exports: 3 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 4.2 billion kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: grain, potatoes, olives, grapes; sheep, cattle, goats, poultry, beef, dairy products

    Exports: $25 billion (f.o.b., 1998)

    Exports—commodities: clothing and footwear, machinery, chemicals, cork and paper products, hides

    Exports—partners: EU 81% (Germany 20%, Spain 15%, France 14%, UK 12% Netherlands 5%, Benelux 5%, Italy 4%), US 5% (1997)

    Imports: $34.9 billion (f.o.b., 1998)

    Imports—commodities: machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, petroleum, textiles, agricultural products

    Imports—partners: EU 76% (Spain 24%, Germany 15%, France 11%, Italy 8%, UK 7%, Netherlands 5%), US 3%, Japan 2% (1997)

    Debt—external: $13.1 billion (1997 est.)

    Economic aid—donor: ODA, $271 million (1995)

    Currency: 1 Portuguese escudo (Esc) = 100 centavos

    Exchange rates: Portuguese escudos (Esc) per US$1—172.78 (January 1999), 180.10 (1998), 175.31 (1997), 154.24 (1996), 151.11 (1995), 165.99 (1994)
    note: on 1 January 1999, the European Union introduced a common currency that is now being used by financial institutions in some member countries at the rate of 0.8597 euros per US$ and a fixed rate of 200.482 escudos per euro; the euro will replace the local currency in consenting countries for all transactions in 2002

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)