Country Listing

Portugal Table of Contents



Gross Domestic Product (GDP): purchasing power equivalent--estimated at US$87.3 in 1991 (US$8,400 per capita). Economy stagnant during second half of 1970s and first half of 1980s because of world economic slump and extensive nationalizations during revolution of mid-1970s. Between 1986 and 1990, GDP grew at 4.6 percent each year.

Agriculture: Made up 6.2 percent of GDP and employed about 17.8 percent of labor force in 1990. Small farms in north, larger farms in the south; productivity and mechanization below European Community (EC--see Glossary) levels; imports more than half of food needs. Major crops: grain, corn, rice potatoes, olives, grapes, cork; important livestock: pigs, cattle, sheep, and chickens; dairy farms mostly in north. EC membership threated long-term servival of southern grain-growing and cattle-raising farms; farms producing rice, vegetables, and wine likely to fare well.

Industry: 38.4 percent of GDP in 1990. Concentrated in two regions: Lisbon-Setúbal, much heavy industry (steel, ship building, oil refineries, chemicals); and Porto-Aveiro-Braga, mostly light industry (textiles, footwear, wine, food processing). Ownership of industries varies: light industry usually privately owned; heavy industry often state owned; high technology manufacturing often foreign owned.

Services: 55.5 percent of GDP in 1990; accounted for 47 percent of work force. Tourism important component of service sector; 19.6 million visitors in 1991.

Imports: In 1990 imports of goods and services accounted for about 47 percent of GDP. Manufactured goods (machinery, transport equipment, chemicals) accounted for about 75 percent of merchandise imports, food and beverages for about 10 percent, and raw materials (mostly petroleum) for about 16 percent.

Exports: in 1990 exports of goods and services accounted for about 37 percent of GDP. Manufactured goods accounted for 80 percent of merchandise exports in 1989. In 1990 textiles, clothing, and footwear made up 37 of total export value; machinery and transport equipment, 20 percent; forest products, 14 percent; and agricultural products, 8 percent.

Major Trade Partners: EC major trading partner, buying 74 percent of Portugal's exports in 1990, and supplying 69 percent of its imports. Germany and Spain the most important trading partners. Only 3.4 percent of Portugal's imports in 1990 came from the United States; Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) accounted for less than 7 percent.

Balance of Payments: Despite negative trade balences, large earnings from tourism and remittances from Portuguese living abroad, in addition to direct foreign investment and EC tranfers, resulted in generally favorable balances of payments (US$4.6 billion in 1989, US$3.5 billion in 1990).

Exchange Rate: in March 1992, 143.09 escudos (Esc--see Glossary) per US$1.

Fiscal Year: Calendar year.

Data as of January 1993