March 25, 2020 / 11:19 AM / 16 days ago

Portugal ends 2019 with budget surplus of 0.2% of GDP-INE

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)

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