LISBON, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Portuguese Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased 2.3 percent in the second quarter this year compared to the same period last year and 0.5 percent over the previous quarter, the National Statistics Institute (INE) said on Tuesday.
The Portuguese economy grew 2.1 percent in second quarter last year and 0.4 percent in first quarter this year. The INE statistics is in line with the expectations set by the Portuguese government in the State Budget for 2018, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
The trend towards convergence with the European Union (EU) is continuing, with national growth slightly above the EU and the eurozone which registered 2.2 percent and 2.1 percent year on year, respectively, it said.
The pattern of growth over the same period continued to be marked by strong job creation and reduction of unemployment as well as the important contributions of investment and exports, the statement said.
The growth occurs in a context of balance of external accounts and responsible budget management and the structural change, supported by more stable financing conditions, is the best guarantee of resilience to possible external fluctuations as well as the sustainable provision of public services, not only in the present but also in the future, the statement concluded.
Portugal's unemployment has been falling steadily in recent years after peaking at more than 17 percent in 2013, when the country suffered severe economic crisis and implemented harsh austerity under the 78 billion-euro bailout program with the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.
The Portuguese economy has been growing steadily in recent years after the country exited in May 2014 the bailout program following three years of harsh austerity.