LISBON, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Portugal's government reported
on Friday a public deficit of around 6.1 billion euros between
January and August this year, over 16 times higher compared to
the same period in 2019 due to the impact of the coronavirus
Total revenues fell 6.6% and tax revenues dropped 7.8% as a
consequence of a contraction of economic activity, the finance
ministry said in a statement, adding expenditures grew 4.9% due
to, among other things, subsidies for unemployed and ill people.
"Budget execution highlights the effects of the COVID-19
pandemic on the economy and public services following the
adoption of mitigation policy measures," the ministry said.
Portugal, which has about 72,000 confirmed cases of the
coronavirus and 1,936 deaths, is expected to suffer a 9.5% blow
to its economy this year, after growth of 2.2% in 2019.
The country's budget deficit soared to 10.5% of gross
domestic product in the second quarter of 2020, official data
from the National Statistics Institute showed earlier this week.
INE said the country expected a budget deficit of 7% of GDP
in 2020 as a whole compared with a surplus of 0.1% last year,
which was the first in more than four decades of Portuguese
(Reporting by Patricia Vicente Rua, Writing by Catarina Demony,
Editing by Kirsten Donovan)