February 20, 2014 / 11:30 AM / 6 years ago

Portugal posts first yearly current account surplus in two decades

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal posted its first current account surplus for a full year in two decades in 2013 as the country started to recover from a recession and is preparing to move on from an EU/IMF bailout this year.

The data, published by the Bank of Portugal on Thursday, showed the country swung to a surplus of 881 million euros (726.29 million pounds) from a large deficit of over 3.3 billion euros in 2012. The last time Portugal has a current account surplus was in 1993.

Portugal also had a surplus of nearly 2.85 billion euros in the combined balance of trade in goods and services last year thanks to a large surplus in services, against a deficit of 148 million euros a year earlier.

Debt-laden Portugal is undergoing a deep effort to consolidate its public accounts as it implements the terms of the bailout package.

The economy started to recover lately from its deepest recession since the 1970’s, but still contracted 1.4 percent for all of last year. The government expects it to grow at least 0.8 percent this year.

Reporting By Andrei Khalip

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