Having been hit hard by the global crisis, the Portuguese government has taken action to put its economy back on track, and to correct external and budgetary imbalances. Public finances have strengthened, and the current account deficit has closed on the back of gains in competitiveness and improvements in export performance. Portugal has also been able to reduce income inequality and relative poverty, a major accomplishment during a severe crisis with record levels of unemployment. As Portugal successfully exits the EU-IMF-ECB-supported programme and emerges from recession, it is more important than ever to build on these achievements.
At the request of the Portuguese authorities, the OECD has carried out an assessment of the impact of the reforms implemented to date on the economy’s longer-term growth outlook. The analysis is based on OECD indicators of the restrictiveness of Product Market Regulation (PMR) and the strictness of Employment Protection Legislation (EPL). It updates the OECD report Portugal: Reforming the State to Promote Growth, published in 2013.
According to the OECD’s Going for Growth exercise, Portugal is among the OECD countries with the best recent track record of responsiveness to structural reform recommendations. The reforms undertaken since 2009 to promote competition in product markets and enhance the dynamism of the labour market are expected to raise productivity and potential GDP by at least 3.5% by 2020.