LISBON, March 25 (Reuters) - Portugal posted a budget surplus of 0.2% of gross domestic product in 2019 - its first in 45 years of the country’s democratic history, after a deficit of 0.4% in 2018, official data showed on Wednesday.
The National Statistics Institute kept its 0.2% deficit forecast for 2020 at a time the country’s government is introducing various pricey measures to help companies and people cope with the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak.
The Socialist government initially forecast a 0.2% deficit for 2019, recently trimmed to a 0.1% deficit, and had set itself the target of generating a surplus in 2020.
Finance Minister Mario Centeno told Reuters last month that a strong fourth quarter may have allowed the country to post its first surplus. (Reporting by Andrei Khalip and Sergio Goncalves)