IMF expects Portuguese economy to grow 2.2 pct in 2018

The International Monetary Fund forecasts that annual growth in Portuguese gross domestic product will slow to 2.2 percent this year and to 1.8 percent next year from 2.6 percent last year.

The IMF issued a written statement forecasting that annual growth in Portuguese exports will slow to 6.6 percent this year from 7 percent last year, and that annual growth in imports will slow to 7 percent this year from 7.5 percent last year.

In spite of its forecasts of slower growth in the economy in general and in international trade in particular, the statement says: “The Portuguese economy has continued to strengthen. Supported by a benign external environment, job-rich and broad-based growth has gathered momentum since late 2016.”

The Portuguese unemployment rate will fall to 7.8 percent this year from 9 percent last year, the IMF forecasts.