The Portuguese government could soon end 25 consecutive years of budget deficits — a historic moment for the indebted economy.
Portugal has been in financial trouble since the sovereign debt crisis of 2011. Several years of economic mismanagement led to very high debt levels and raised market fears that the country would not be able to repay its loans. The difficulties in getting money from the market forced Portugal to ask for financial assistance that same year.
But four years after ending a bailout program, the Portuguese government is now forecasting a budget surplus — when state expenditure is lower than revenues. According to the Finance Ministry, there will be a surplus of 0.25 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020 — a year ahead of schedule.
This is, according to the European statistics office Eurostat, an accomplishment that the southern European nation has never managed since records began in 1995. Eurostat will confirm the final 2017 figures in late April.