The Portuguese economy grew by 0.2% in the last three months of the year compared to the previous quarter, as economists had anticipated, according to figures from the National Institute of Statistics (INE). For the year as a whole, the country grew by 6.7%, thus missing the Executive's target, which had revised its estimates upwards, in December, to 6.8%, matching the forecasts of the Bank of Portugal, which were also updated in the bulletin. For Portugal to have grown by 6.8%, GDP would have had to have grown by 0.4% in the fourth quarter.
The quick estimate of GDP reveals that in the fourth quarter, the eurozone grew by 0.1% and remained stable in the European Union as a whole, that is, compared to the previous three months. This performance translates into a slowdown after the 0.3% increase both in the euro area and in the EU.
Among the various Member States for which there are figures, it is possible to see that the growth champion was Ireland with a chain evolution of 3.5%, followed by Latvia 0.3%, and then Portugal with 0.2%, with a similar performance to neighbouring Spain.
Eurostat data also reveal that six economies actually suffered a GDP contraction in the last three months of the year, with special emphasis on Lithuania (-1.7%) and Austria (-0.7%). Even so, only Lithuania fits into the context of recession, having already recorded two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.