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2019 OECD Economic Surveys: Portugal 2019

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Portugal’s economic recovery is now well established, with GDP back to its pre-crisis level. However, legacies of the recent crisis remain. A high public debt burden and ongoing financial sector vulnerabilities make the economy less resilient. The country is also facing a rapidly ageing population. In this context, there should be a continued focus on getting unemployed or marginalised workers back into jobs and promoting productivity growth. The latter will further boost the external competitiveness of the economy. Existing strict regulations in some sectors including professional services and transport harm productivity prospects, as do those that hold back competition in the ports. However, the institutions implementing regulations also matter. Improving judicial efficiency is particularly important in this regard. Recent reforms have lowered the time to resolve a court case, but it remains long. The information system that registers court proceedings should thus be better utilised and the courts should be granted stronger autonomy in managing their resources.

SPECIAL FEATURES: FURTHER RAISING EXPORT PERFORMANCE; ENHANCING JUDICIAL EFFICIENCY

 

 

 

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Key policy insights

The Portuguese economy continues to recover, with past structural reforms and more favourable global economic conditions contributing to the upswing. The economy has largely been sustained by strong export performance since 2010, but domestic demand is now also growing solidly. After receding in the five years following the crisis, employment has picked up and the unemployment rate has fallen from 17% to below 7%. Over the same period, the economy has notably increased its reliance on some renewable energy sources, such as wind power.

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