Portugal reduced its public deficit by 15% in the first quarter

Portugal reduced its public deficit by 15% in the first quarter

LISBON, April 24 (Reuters) – The Portuguese Finance Ministry said on Friday that the country's public deficit fell by 15 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, thanks to a 5 percent increase in tax revenues and despite increased spending.

During the quarter, the general deficit amounted to 710 million euros, or only 14% of the expected general deficit for the full year of more than five billion euros.

The ministry said that the primary public balance (excluding debt service) recorded a surplus of 832 million euros.

Portugal exited the 2011 EU-IMF bailout in May last year, but the country is still seeking to reduce its debt and deficit expressed as a percentage of GDP.

Lisbon hopes to reduce its budget deficit this year to 2.7% of GDP, compared to about 4.5% in 2014, although creditors expect the deficit to slightly exceed the 3% threshold set by the European Union. (André Khalip, Claude Chendjoux for the French Service, Editing by Marc Angrand)

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