Source: Bloomberg News | 2013-3-12 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
PORTUGAL'S economy shrank for a ninth quarter in the three months through December as consumer spending fell and exports slipped with the euro-area recession.
Gross domestic product shed 1.8 percent from the third quarter, when it fell 0.9 percent, the Lisbon-based National Statistics Institute said in an e-mailed statement. That matches a preliminary report.
Fourth-quarter GDP dropped 3.8 percent from a year earlier. It was the biggest annual and quarterly contraction since the first quarter of 2009.
Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho is battling rising joblessness and lower demand from European trading partners as he raises taxes to meet the terms of a 78 billion-euro (US$101 billion) aid plan from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
Portugal may get an extra year to trim its budget gap as the country's economic outlook worsens, Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar said on February 20.
Exports dropped 2.1 percent in the third quarter from the second, the report showed. Imports fell 1.4 percent in that period and household spending tumbled 2.3 percent.