BCN-16 Portugal’s GDP down by 7.6 pct in 2020: INE





Portugal’s GDP down by 7.6 pct in 2020: INE

LISBON, Feb 2,2021 (BSS/XINHUA) – Portugal’s National Statistics Institute (INE) reported on Tuesday that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 7.6 percent in 2020 compared to 2019, when it registered a 2.2-percent growth.

According to the official statistics agency, this was “the most intense contraction in the economy” since the 1960s, when national accounts began to be registered.

According to INE, the drop in GDP reflected “the markedly adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on economic activity.”

The result, however, was below what was expected by the Portuguese government, which projected an 8.5 percent drop in the economy.

INE highlighted that domestic demand had “a significant negative contribution” to the decrease in GDP, reflecting especially a contraction in private consumption.

External demand was also negative in 2020, with intense reductions in exports and imports of goods and services, and “unprecedented decrease in tourism.”

Mario Centeno, governor of the Bank of Portugal, has been saying that the contraction of the economy is “a consequence of the second wave of the pandemic and of the confinement measures,” and that the government expects a recovery from the crisis with the beginning of the vaccination against COVID-19.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in some countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines, including Portugal.

Meanwhile, 237 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide — 63 of them in clinical trials — in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on Jan. 29.