Portugal's public debt increases to 244.9 bln euros in 2018

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LISBON, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- Portugal's public debt increased to 244.9 billion euros (about 280.69 billion dollars) in 2018 compared to the previous year, despite the fall in December after the country's debt payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Bank of Portugal (BdP) said on Friday.

According to the bank, after reaching record levels in October and November last year, Portugal's public debt contracted in December, but increased by 2.1 billion euros in the year compared to 2017.

"These changes were partly offset by the early repayment of the remaining of the loans granted by the IMF under the Economic and Financial Assistance Program amounting to 5.5 billion euros," the bank said in a statement.

Assets held by general government deposits decreased by 3.2 billion euros in 2018, and net government debt increased by 5.3 billion euros over the previous year to 228.3 billion euros.

Portuguese Finance Minister Mario Centeno announced on Dec. 10 that Portugal had completed the payment of the total debt to the IMF with the liquidation of 4.7 billion euros.

He said the government maintained the targets for 2018 and 2019 to reduce the ratio of debt in the gross domestic product (GDP) to 121.2 percent and 118.5 percent respectively. (one euro currently equals to 1.15 U.S. dollars) Enditem

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