May 22, 2017 / 11:00 AM / 3 months ago

Portugal says EU decision on deficit marks "turning point" for economy

LISBON, May 22 (Reuters) - The European Commission's recommendation to end the disciplinary process against Portugal for its excessive budget deficit marks a turning point and shows growing confidence in the economy by international institutions, the finance ministry said on Monday.

"This decision is a turning point to the extent that it expresses the evaluation of the commission that Portugal's excessive budget deficit has been corrected in a sustainable and lasting way," the ministry said in a statement.

"Confidence in the Portuguese economy is beginning to be reflected by international institutions."

Portugal posted a budget deficit of 2.0 percent of gross domestic product last year, down from 4.4 percent in 2015, and the lowest in more than four decades.

"The government is fully committed in continuing to implement ambitious reforms, seeking to raise potential growth and ensure sustainable and inclusive economic prosperity," the statement added. "Portugal will keep meeting its commitments."

The decision by the commission comes six years after Portugal sought a bailout in 2011 during the euro zone debt crisis. The country exited the bailout in 2014. (Reporting By Axel Bugge, editing by Andrei Khalip)

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