Portuguese economy contracts 0.1 per cent in first quarter: data

AFP, Friday 8 Jun 2012

Official figures confirm earlier estimates that Portugal's economy contracted in the first quarter of 2012 over the last quarter of 2011

Portugal's economy contracted 0.1 per cent in the first quarter from the last three months of 2011, and by 2.2 per cent from the same quarter last year, the national statistics agency Ine said Friday.

The figures were the same as initial estimates Ine released last month, confirming the smallest quarterly decline since Portugal fell into recession in late 2010.

With a drop in imports, sustained increase in exports and an improvement in investment, the data suggest Portugal's recession might bottoming out.

As part of an international rescue package worth 78 billion euros ($97 billion), Portugal has undertaken a raft of austerity measures and expects economic activity to contract by 3.0 per cent this year after dropping by 1.6 per cent in 2011.

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