Bloomberg News

Portugal’s Unemployment Rate Rises to 12.4% as Economy Shrinks

November 17, 2011

(See EXT4 for more on the sovereign debt crisis.)

Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Portugal’s jobless rate rose to 12.4 percent in the three months through September as the economy contracted for a fourth quarter.

The unemployment rate increased from 12.1 percent in the second quarter and 10.9 percent in the third quarter of 2010, the Lisbon-based National Statistics Institute said today in an e-mailed statement. Employment in agriculture, forestry and fishing declined 3.4 percent from the second quarter, the institute said.

The government forecasts unemployment will reach 13.4 percent in 2012 before it starts to decline in 2013.

Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho is cutting spending and raising taxes as he tries to meet the terms of a 78 billion-euro ($105 billion) aid plan from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Portugal followed Greece and Ireland in April in seeking a bailout as the country’s borrowing costs surged.

Portugal’s gross domestic product dropped 0.4 percent in the third quarter from the second quarter and declined 1.7 percent from a year earlier, the statistics institute said on Nov. 14. The government forecasts GDP will shrink 2.8 percent in 2012 after a contraction of 1.9 percent this year. Portugal’s economic expansion has averaged less than 1 percent a year for the past decade.

--Editors: Eddie Buckle, James Hertling

To contact the reporters on this story: Joao Lima in Lisbon at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Quinson at

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