Portuguese fiscal deficit cut 38 pct to €2.57 bln in 2017

The Portuguese annual fiscal deficit shrank by 38 percent or €1.61 billion (US$1.99 billion) to €2.57 billion last year, Reuters reports.

The news agency, citing Portuguese Finance Ministry data, says government annual revenue grew by 3.8 percent while annual expenditure increased by 1.6 percent.

The report quotes the ministry as saying: “For the second year running, the government has ensured that the budget targets are met.”

The ministry added: “The rigorous budget execution also allows the reduction of public debt as a share of GDP.”

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa has said public debt as a proportion of GDP may turn out to have shrunk last year below 1.3 percent, the least for over 40 years, from 2 percent in 2016.

The actual figure for public debt as a proportion of GDP last year is due to be announced in March, Reuters says.