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Portugal's economy passes crucial test

Brighter days could be on the horizon for Portugal after the country moved a step closer to leaving its bailout programme, reports bbc.co.uk.

Upon the conclusion of its review into the country's economic performance, a 'troika' of lenders - consisting of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund - has approved of its progress six months ahead of schedule

The group granted Portugal a 78 billion euro bailout in May 2011 after the country started to emerge from its deepest downturn since the 1970s. After proving its economic stability following the last batch of funding, Portugal will now receive a loan of 2.7 billion euros to help it return to financing itself in markets next year.

Cited by reuters.com, finance minister Maria Luis Albuquerque described the evaluation as a "very smooth" process, backing the country to exit its bailout programme on the scheduled date, in mid-2014.

"The lenders agreed that our targets were met and our objectives are within reach," she added.

Portugal's group of creditors said the economy was showing clear signs of improvement, which should be encouraging news for people with property in the country.

Had the economy failed its inspection, there may have been a reluctance among some investors to plough funding into a country with such financial uncertainty.

The troika said "further signs of recovery" had come to light following the last review and that growth was in line with projections.

Posted on Wednesday, December 18, 2013

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