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Portugal trade gap shrinks by 37 pct in June-August

LISBON, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Portugal's global trade deficit shrunk by 37percent in the three months between June and August compared to the same periodlast year as exports rose 10 percent and imports by the bailed-out nation fell1.5 percent, the National Statistics Institute said on Wednesday.

Exports outside of Portugal's main market - the European Union - soared bymore than 25 percent to over 3.4 billion euros, the institute said.

The debt-laden country's exports sector has been doing relatively well evenas the government imposed tough austerity under a 78-billion euro EU/IMFbailout.

Exports growth has helped alleviate some of the pressure on the economy,which is still expected to contract 3 percent this year as the country strugglesthrough its worst recession since the 1970s.

Trade data (in billions of euros):

June-Aug June-Aug Pct2012 2011 changeImports 13.542 13.748 -1.5Exports 11.359 10.290 10.4Deficit 2.183 3.458 -37

(Reporting by Daniel Alvarenga)

((daniel.alvarenga@thomsonreuters.com)(+351213509203)(Reuters Messaging:daniel.alvarenga.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: PORTUGAL TRADE/

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